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As snow continues to melt, keep an eye out for ponding

A storm drain is pictured partially covered in snow and ice March 14 in a Woodbury neighborhood. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Mailboxes were buried in several feet of snow early March in a Woodbury neighborhood. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Positioned away from nearby rivers and on upland between two valleys, Woodbury will likely avoid any flooding due to snow melt.

But city staff is still on the lookout for localized ponding, especially at street intersections, Public Works Director Mary Hurliman said.

Hurliman said residents should call Public Works if they notice ponding around a storm drain so staff can clear the drain and make sure water is flowing.

Still, she said, the forecast is in the city's favor: relatively warm days with colder nights that allow for a refreeze, slowing down snow melt.

"It also helps that we've got these huge mounds of snow, which act as a little bit of a sponge, so they've been taking in some of that water," Hurliman said. "And then because of their size, I mean, they just take a while to melt."

Despite a low risk for flooding, Hurliman said the main priority of Public Works staff is to clear snow and ice from stormwater drains to ensure the flow of water.

The snowiest February on record in Minnesota did cause the Public Works budget to take a hit, though Hurliman said the city is still "in a fine position."

Stormwater management in the city has a separate fund paid into by residents through monthly utility bills. The fund covers the planning and maintenance of the stormwater system.

Hurliman reminded residents to do their part to keep pollutants out of this system, like limiting salt use.

"When stormwater goes down the drain, that does eventually drain to a river, so anything you can do ... we appreciate," she said.

Hannah Black

Hannah Black is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. She is a proud graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism. Outside of reporting, she enjoys running, going to museums and trying new coffee shops. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Wendell.

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