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How Arkansas maintenance crews stay ahead of flooding

The Pine Bluff Street Department shows us the plan they have in place to stay ahead of any potential flooding that could arise.

PINE BLUFF, Ark — Severe weather has the potential to bring floods alongside it, and to get ahead of the floods before they occur, the Pine Bluff Street Department has a plan in place. 

Scattered throughout in the city there are several 'road may flood' signs that warn people about what could happen after the heavy rains. To take action before flooding occurs, the street department plans to use what's called a 'jet routing truck' which pumps the water through the drainage pipes and then into the ground.

"It's a process where you take a long hose, stick it into the drainage pipe and blow high pressure water, dislodging anything that's obstructing the pipe," said Tommy Bennett, director of Pine Bluff Street Department. 

There are many things that could cause drainage pipes to clog, such as anything from sticks, to branches or even paper. If the drainage pipes are clogged, they would cause the flooding to take far longer to drain in the event of a flash flood.

"We'll go out and go to our planned designated drainage communities and jet route the piping to clear ditches," said Bennett.

Clearing the pipes gives workers a head start before the rain causes city streets and neighborhoods to begin flooding.

Oscar Bullard works with the street department and his job is to oversee the execution of each pipe and ditch that is worked on. 

"Whatever debris that we have in there, we pick it up, suck it out or bring it back to the end of the pipe," said Bullard.

It's usually a long process overall, but according to Bennett, it is crucial, because water can build up fast. He also said that their goal is "to keep Pine Bluff's water flowing the best way we can." 

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