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Public Works Crews Across Delaware Valley Prepare For Arrival Of Anticipated Severe Weather

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Public Works crews across the Delaware Valley have been preparing for the arrival of anticipated severe weather Monday and the mess it can bring.

It's been sunny on Monday, but a storm is on its way, bringing the threat of heavy rain, strong winds and flooding to the region. One area that's particularly vulnerable is a Southwest Philadelphia apartment complex that is in a low-lying area.

During last year's hurricane, everything was underwater.

Philadelphia Weather: Severe Storms Expected To Bring Damaging Winds, Flooding And Isolated Tornadoes

It's been a sunny afternoon at International City Apartments in Southwest Philly, but during Hurricane Ida, cars and homes were flooded.

"Terrible, because you couldn't even walk into your apartment," Vincent Purnell, a resident at the apartment complex, said. "And if you did, you had to take your shoes off because you didn't want to ruin your shoes."

Monday's storm isn't expected to bring the devastation that the hurricane did, but the Philadelphia Water Department is still working to ward off the threat of flooding. They used a hydraulic crane to remove debris from the catch basin at 78th street and Lindbergh Boulevard.

"It's extremely important. If we do not do this, the roadway will get flooded or the homes will get flooded with water from the rain," Philadelphia Water Department Supervisor William Shields said.

The Water Department is checking 2,000 storm drains to make sure there's no trash blocking the flow of water.

"We're pretty unique. New York and Philadelphia are the only ones I know that use this specialized equipment," Shields said. "It's environmentally friendly and very efficient."

On Maple Avenue in Pennsauken, people with the Camden County Public Works Department used a shovel and broom to clear storm drains so the road doesn't flood.

"We want the roads to be safe and the motorists and everybody else," Camden County Public Works supervisor David Stout said.

Crews have a wood chipper to grind up any tree limbs or branches that fall on the road.

The department has 40 people on standby ready to respond to flooded roads.

"Of course, we'll try to see if we can get the road unflooded and if not, we need to put proper signage and whatnot warning people the road's flooded and do not enter," Stout said.

Experts say you should never walk or drive through floodwaters. The CDC says more than half of all flood-related drownings happen when a driver enters hazardous floodwaters.

The National Weather Service says it takes just six inches of fast-moving water to sweep a man off his feet and 12 inches to carry a car downstream.

Stay with the Eyewitness News Weather Team on-air, online and streaming on CBS News Philly for your most up-to-date forecast. You can also download the CBS Philly app for the latest updates on breaking news and weather.

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