Snow melt creates concerns across the state

HARTFORD -- First the freeze and now comes the thaw.

With about a foot of snow to contend with last week, the Hartford Department of Public Works is now busy getting ready for upwards of two inches of rain on the way.

Warming temperatures have not necessarily been welcome for Vernon Matthews, the superintendent of Hartford Public Works.

Matthews now focuses on his crews clearing the storm drains and catching basins in flood prone areas of the capital city.

"We are opening up drains across the city, we have loader teams out there and we want to clear catch basins and remove as much snow as we can to prevent flooding."

Matthews noted that around 15 to 20 of his crews will be roaming the roads of Hartford to help with flooding during the storm.

Closer to home, there are the concerns about clearing gutters that can lead to leaks and flooding.

The warmer temps have kept Mike Wood busy. Wood is the owner of Marlborough based Wood and Wood Seamless Gutters, he has clients across the state. He stressed safety this week, especially with snow and ice on so many rooftops.

"Stay off the roof  and off the ladder if you can," Wood said.

Wood noted he and his crew are tending to ice dams and clearing out gutters to prevent flooding issues. He suggests taking a shovel where your downspout is located and clearing a path away from the house.

"Something that goes downwards to let water get away from your house."

Flooding wasn't the only concern.

Following last week’s blizzard, Eversource crews have been surveying potential damage across the state.

“We are going to be surveying our transmission rights of way here in Connecticut,” says Frank Poirot, a spokesperson for Eversource.

Eversource crews are surveying more than 800 miles worth of lines, and it’s all being done by helicopter!“We are just looking for problems potential issues so that we can get them addressed before they become an emergency that causes problems,” says Eversource navigator, Jerry Withinton.

Withinton looks for anything out of the ordinary by measuring infrared signals, and taking note of the lines and the trees nearby.

“There is a core group of us that fly so we will start to see things start to change,” says Withinton.

Withinton says this is one his favorite parts of the job. Eversource always has a few scheduled trips throughout the year as seasons change, they then schedule additional flights when a storm hits.

“We can do things a lot quicker, more efficient and it is a change to the daily job so it's always a bonus,” says Withinton.

Eversource hopes to catch problems early on to ensure their customers do not lose power.

“We usually find something with every flight and what we will do is make note of it,” says Poirot. “We’ll then send a ground crew out to get a closer look.

This week’s project was supposed to wrap up on Friday but with heavy rain on the way, it will be extended to next week.

“This is a larger part of our proactive effort to catch problems before they cause a problem for our customer,” says Poirot.

So if you see some low flying helicopters in the area next week... give them a wave!

“We’ll wave right back,” says Withinton.