— With widespread and persistent rain continuing to fall across the state today and tomorrow, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is cautioning residents in northern and central Indiana to be aware of possible flood conditions developing in the area and take appropriate safety measures.
Expected periods of heavy rain through Wednesday morning, combined with melting snow and frozen soil conditions, has the potential to cause flooding in low lying areas and near creeks, streams, and rivers.
A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding, and those living in areas prone to it should be ready to take action should flooding develop.
“Spring is usually the time when we’re most concerned about flooding in Indiana,” said Arvin Copeland, IDHS director of Emergency Response and Recovery, “but recent amounts of heavy rainfall are putting some Hoosiers at risk from rising streams and other bodies of water. It’s important that residents remember to use common sense when dealing with flood water and take every measure to stay safe.”
Those who live near bodies of water (ponds, rivers, streams, etc.) should be aware that water levels can change rapidly and flooding can begin with little or no warning; monitor local weather and river forecasts and keep an eye on any waterways along roads near their residence; and consider evacuating in advance of flooding if they think rising water may cut off their access routes to and from home.
The IDHS offers the following tips to motorists:
— Never attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it seems shallow. Water can conceal dips, or worse, flood waters can damage roadways, washing away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground.
— Do not drive around barricades at water crossings. They are there to protect the public. Disregarding warning signs and attempting to cross flooded roads endangers everyone in the vehicle as well as the first responders who may need to come to the aid of those that are stranded.
— Remember that just a few inches of moving water is enough to carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pick-up trucks.
— Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize high water danger.
For more flood safety tips, visit the website at GetPrepared.in.gov.