Debris being cleared ahead of more rain

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 03:30 PM

City workers were up late clearing debris from streets Wednesday after a line of storms hit the city.
Kevin Lilley, division manager for the Urban Forestry unit with Durham Public Works, said since Wednesday afternoon crews have responded to 43 calls. Most of the calls have been concentrated in the Trinity and Duke Park neighborhoods and along the Driver Street corridor.
One tree hit a house on the 1100 block of Watts Street yesterday afternoon.
Another tree fell on Campus Drive in Duke University’s campus that blocked traffic near the Nasher Museum of Art.
No one was hurt in either instance.
Lilley said crews were out until about 1 a.m. this morning helping clear debris and assess damages around the city.
“Most of the debris has been pushed to the side of the road,” he said.
Public Works has also been working with area electrical companies to make sure if downed trees took out power lines that those are being repaired.
Lilley said crews have responded to about six calls where houses have been damaged by trees. However, he said there could be “considerably more” because privately owned trees could have also fallen.
As more rain moves in this afternoon, Lilley said that some patience will be needed as crews respond to all the calls.
“(We’re) really hoping that citizens can maintain some patience,” Lilley said. “We are getting to all the calls.”
He said crews should have all of the calls cleared by tomorrow.
Tonight’s storms will not be as strong or damaging as Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Winds will be out of the 60 mile per hour range, and the main threat to Bull City residents will be heavy rainfall.
“Right now there is a cluster of storms, moving toward the Triangle,” Ryan Ellis, meteorologist for the NWS said.
There is potential for some strong storms in the Triangle, but because of the “popcorn like nature” of the storms, some areas might not see the heavy rain predicted.
Some areas could see up to 2 inches of rain, where others might get only drizzles.
“It’s one of those days,” Ellis said.
Just under an inch of rain fell Wednesday in Durham.
There is potential for flooding in the area, but there are no watches out for Durham County.
“It’ll depend on if you get a few storms running over the same location,” he said.