ATLANTA - Crews with the Georgia Department of Transportation crews worked to clear storm drains along interstates Monday afternoon ahead of the long-awaited rain.
GDOT officials are reminding people to take it easy on metro Atlanta roads.
Since there hasn’t been a good rain in months, the roads are slick and some interstate storm drains are clogged with debris that hasn't been washed away in a long time.
“We're glad to get the rain. We need the rain, and so it's something that our crews are happy to get out there and do that extra sweep on our storm drains because we know we are going to see that rain and we want everyone to be careful,” said Natalie Dale, GDOT spokeswoman.
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Dale warned that even though the drains were cleared, ponding is still being reported.
“We can’t be out there as it’s happening clearing out the drains so there is likely to be some ponding,” Dale said.
GDOT is also reminding drivers not to use hazard lights during a heavy rain. They say that can actually create more of a hazard.
Rain could cause problems for trees
The heavy winds and rain could also cause problems for metro Atlanta trees already weakened by months of drought.
Arborist Peter Jenkins said there’s no tried and true way to determine if a tree might be in trouble, but there are some warning signs.
Jenkins said tapping the tree can sometimes reveal decay just under the park.
‘The tonal difference is a little bit different,” he said.
He also said a tree with a lot of mushrooms around it could be a sign of decay.
Jenkins runs Treeinspection.com and has more than 30 years in the business.
He said the drought mixed with the high winds and heavy rain could be trouble.
“The ground is very dry and sometimes you'll have trees come over just because the ground is so powdery dry,” he said.
But, ultimately, he said he isn't too worried about trees and storms this time because it's autumn and he said most of the hardwoods have lost their leaves so the winds will have a tougher time blowing them over, even though they have a shallow root system. He said pines have deep roots and probably won’t blow over, either.
However, he said dead branches could still fall and cause damage. He recommends not parking under branches for the next few days.
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