Tips to protect your home before storm arrives

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - October 26, 2012

Crews were especially busy in Upper Darby Township Friday afternoon in neighborhoods that have large trees.

Upper Darby Public Works crews spent much of the morning and afternoon in Drexel Hill scooping and dumping leaves.

On Mason Avenue where the trees are more mature, the leaves fall earlier, and in a big storm, they can block the storm drains or inlets.

"As the wind kicks up and the leaves continue to fall, the challenge is to keep these inlets open," said Upper Darby Mayor Tom Micozzie. "If we don't keep them open, then we get the localized flooding."

With the impending arrival of Sandy the township has been on high alert for several days.

"In the last 24 hours particularly in the last 12 hours, it started to escalate, so at noon today, we brought in all our key players, directors, and management team together," said Mayor Micozzie.

Naylon's Run Creek is one of three trash racks in Upper Darby. The township installed them in the early 1990s and say they will be a big help during the storm.

"They are designed to stop the larger debris from going into the tunnel and blocking the tunnel and creating flooding problems," said Frank Gillin, Public Works Supervisor.

Officials say everything from milk crates and shopping carts to full trees and branches are caught in the trash racks.

"It also holds back the water so it slowly releases instead of going down stream and flooding downstream," said Gillin.

If possible, residents should clear their gutters before the storm hits.

"When the gutters are clogged, it doesn't allow the water to get down to the ground through the spout like it is supposed to which causes the water to back up," said Chalie McCafferty.

Chalie McCafferty says in addition to clearing the leaves from your drains and gutters; you should also make sure they are secure to your house or building and functioning properly.

Also patio furniture should be moved inside or secure so that it doesn't move around. Anything unsecure can easily become projectiles.

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