This is my first post here, but I've been a This Old House fan all my life. I look forward to joining this community!

My question is about the drain in the walk-up stairway leading out of our basement. In heavy storms (like we've been getting this year on the east coast), the smallest amount of debris has no difficulty clogging up the drain. This causes as much as 9* inches (!) of water to build up in the bottom of the stairwell, until the sliding doors simply can't hold it out anymore and it all comes spilling into the basement.

We used to have a finished basement, but after the first time this happened, we ended up tearing out about 600 square feet of carpet and a bunch of drywall. Now we have an un-finished basement, and even if we had the money to finish it (we don't), we wouldn't do it if it's just going to flood again. Does anyone have an idea how to fix this?

To clarify: the issue is not with the drain tube its self getting clogged. The pipe is fine, and dumps into our floor drain where the sump pump is just fine. The problem is that the cover to the drain, which is no more than 4" in diameter, gets covered by leaves and junk. I've seen it get completely blocked this way in under three minutes. It's pretty scary.

What can we do? We're terrified of not being home during heavy rains. We went on vacation for Memorial Day, and it happened again but there was nothing we could do about it until we got back.


*we haven't seen the water get to 9" in person, but we had the water line to prove it...