Crews clear state highways to prep for incoming rain

- No rain--just leaves. That's all we've seen falling and blowing around in the the sky for more than 40 days. That's why Natalie Dale of the Georgia Department of Transportation is advising drivers to be alert when the clouds move in and the rain finally begins fall for the first time in weeks.

"It's likely we will see some ponding even in areas we've been working hard to keep clean and it's likely the roads will be slicker because we haven't had the rain to wash oil that collects on the roads," Dale told Fox 5's Portia Bruner.

GDOT crews were busy all over I-285 and I-20 Monday-- trimming trees of dead or dying branches that could snap in the wind and clearing storm drains along interstates. This, as other maintenance crews handled the thankless task of picking up trash and debris that can clog storm drains--far more so than leaves, according to Dale.

Coming up on @FOX5Atlanta: Roads & Hwys may be slicker than usual after 1st rain in 42 days. Hear why tonight. @GDOTATL @GDOTAtlTraffic

— Portia Bruner (@PortiaFOX5) November 28, 2016


"If leaves were the only thing we had to clear from storm drains, it would be a manageable task for us. But on top of the drought and the Autumn leaves falling, you've got motorists who throw out their food, their wrappers and their trash. We find car parts our there--even hubcabs stuck down in these drains," the GDOT spokesman said Monday.

According to Dale, storm drainage clean up is a weekly process; but in advance of the first rain in Georgia's Fall drought, the work is more important than ever for smooth sailing on the highways.

"We are putting a little extra special attention on our roadways today, especially in locations that tend to hold water," Dale said.



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