by David Murphy
Poor drainage area flooding and urban street flooding go hand in hand. They are self-descriptive. Urban locations have loads of poor drainage areas because of the high volume of paved surfaces and development, coupled with too few storm drains to handle the mass of water delivered by a major storm or rain event. This type of flooding is easily the most common in our area, not only in cities, but in suburbs and even some corners of more rural areas. Any drenching thunderstorm, properly placed, can trigger this sort of flooding and the exact location is usually not possible to predict very far in advance. Once storms form, it's relatively easy to forecast likely urban flooding locations by simply following the path of any drenching storm on radar.
Urban and poor drainage flooding can lead to a variety of dangers, from stalled cars to reduced navigation or visibility (thanks to spray from tires). Pedestrian safety issues are also apparent. This sort of flooding often subsides relatively quickly after a storm has passed, although storm drains clogged with leaves, snow or other debris may cause more prolonged flooding.