By Ed Ernstes (email@example.com)
6:42 PM EST, January 28, 2013
The weather has made a quick change after the recent snow.
Now, we’re talking flooding.
A flood watch is in effect for the WSBT viewing area from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning. A combination of heavy rain and melting snow could cause flooding problems.
WSBT Chief Meteorologist Paul Emmick says some locations could receive one to three inches of rainfall. Higher amounts are even possible in places.
A Dense Fog Advisory is also in effect until 1 a.m. on Tuesday. Some areas Monday night had visibility of less than a quarter-of-a-mile.
Emergency crews have a plan in place in case flooding becomes an issue with these warmer temperatures.
Work has already begun in some communities to fill sandbags to head off potential problems with flooding. Rain water and melting snow could overflow rivers, ditches and streams, flooding low-lying areas.
“With the warmer weather and with the rain, it’s causing the snow to melt,” said Elkhart County Emergency Management Director Jennifer Tobey. “Ground areas might be frozen, so the melting doesn’t soak in. It’s going to be a surface melt that melts off.”
The County Emergency Management office, aware this could happen, is planning to provide free sandbags for county homeowners who may need them.
The Elkhart Street Department is already filling sandbags to make them available.
For the moment, there are over 2,000 sandbags stacked and ready to go. Crews say they can get another 2,000 ready, if needed.
“We are at Mother Nature’s call,” said Bill Faus of the Elkhart Emergency Management Department. “We don’t know what is going to happen. We just want to be prepared for anything that might happen.”
“Most of the people in Elkhart County that are in those low-lying areas already know that they flood, already know they are challenged with flooding, so those are the people that need to be aware so that they might have a little bit of flooding in the winter versus early spring when we would normally see it,” Tobey added.
“We don’t expect a lot of problems here in the city,” Faus said. “We have a few low points, but it’s really going to have to rise to affect them.”
Right now, it’s a waiting game.
If you live in Elkhart and need sandbags, you can pick them up at the city Street Department. But if you live outside the city limits in Elkhart County, contact the County Emergency Management office to find out where to get them.
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