Monsoon countdown: Mesa city crews getting ready for the storms

MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- The monsoon is just weeks away from kicking off, and while Monday felt a little like the monsoon, with rain around the valley and even some hail, workers in Mesa are going through a series of drills to make sure they are ready when the big storms hit.

At the Greenfield Canal in Mesa, crews are practicing for how they would respond to a major flood. Sometimes, crews find more than just some leaves, branches, empty bottles and garbage.

"Some of the crazy stuff we found is like concrete. People might do a little work at the house," said Miguel Padilla, a Foreman with the City of Mesa Transportation Department. "Sometimes, we even have to sledgehammer to break the concrete."

As for why someone would do that? One can only speculate.

"These pipes are heavy. It is dirty work sometimes, but they are getting ready to go proactively," said Padilla.

People can also play a part to make things easier for these crews.

"Any little thing that residents can do to keep debris from those is going to help your own street. Things like cleaning up that front yard vegetation, not littering.," said Amy McConnell, a spokesperson with the City of Mesa Transportation Department.

The work, meanwhile, isn't over.

"Then we'll come through with our heavy equipment, and we'll blade out all of the silt out of the area," said Glen Curtis, a Foreman with the City of Mesa Transportation Department. "After that, we would send a sweeper through to sweep it up the best we could."

The crews have to practice these drills year-round, until they almost develop muscle memory when it comes to doing these monsoon cleanups, so they can use the dangerous equipment in any kind of weather condition or location.