Melting snow has potential for flooding

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Record snowfall has caused numerous problems this winter and it is likely to cause more as the warmer temperatures melt it away.

Department of Natural Resources Lt. Dan Dulin said now is the time for people living in flood prone areas to prepare for the worst.

“People should be prepared to move to higher ground. It’s important that people prepare for that, especially in low lying areas. It’s also important that people take the warnings that the officals put out for flood prone areas, such as the Tippecanoe River below Oakdale Dam,” said Dulin.

News 18 Meteorologist Amber Hardwick said at least one to three inches of snowfall is expected Saturday night. A warm-up on Monday will melt the mounds of leftover snow. That melting snow, and a forecast for rain, creates the potential for flooding.

“Temperatures are going to start to go above freezing, which is going to allow the snow to melt, but the bigger problem is we have a frozen ground. Normally, when the snow melts it can kind of saturates into the ground. But since it’s still frozen, it’s either going to go in the roads, it’s going to stay on the land or it’s going to go into rivers,” said Hardwick.

However, flooding is dangerous for more than those who live in a flood zone. Dulin said flooded roadways are also a major hazard.

“It doesn’t take much water moving across a roadway to float a vehicle. Also, you never know how deep the water is over a road way or the conditions underneath the water, such as eroded roadways or washed out areas,” said Dulin.

Although there is only a potential for flooding, Dulin said when it comes to avoiding the risks associated with high water – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Turn around, don’t drown is the saying we tell them. You’re much better off to go a mile or so away then to risk your life or the life of others driving through the flood waters, ” said Dulin.

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