WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Hoosiers need to aware of the possibility for strong storms Thursday evening followed by flooding in some areas. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory and Flood Watch for most counties in central Indiana.
NWS said an extremely strong low pressure system will move through the state Thursday bringing with it very windy conditions Thursday night into Friday evening. NWS said winds will be sustained at 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 to 60 mph.
A Wind Advisory is in effect for the entire News 18 viewing area from 7 p.m. Thursday until 7 p.m. Friday, including the counties of Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Miami, Montgomery, Newton, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White. A Wind Advisory is issued for systems that expect speeds of 45 mph or greater.
But wind is not the only weather concern, the rain combined with continued snow melt will bring the possibility of flooding. NWS has an Areal Flood Watch currently in effect for the same counties as the Wind Advisory.
With flooding in the forecast, the Indiana Department of Transportation warns drivers to watch for high water and never try to drive through it. They said it only takes six inches of water to stall a car and only one foot will float many vehicles. In addition, drivers need to be on alert for potholes that may be hidden from view by high water.
One state road has already been closed due to high water. INDOT reports U.S. 20 in South Bend is closed, with the potential of even more closures as snow melts and heavy rains move through Indiana.
Authorities remind motorists never to drive around barricades at water crossings. Disregarding the 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.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security said when storms hit, it is good to have emergency plans in place for you and your family. If the need arises, make sure to have a “safe place” to take shelter, preferably the lowest level of your home away from doors and windows. IDHS also said to make sure cell phones are fully charged in case of a power outage.
Water levels can change rapidly and flooding can begin with little or no warning. If you live near a body of water, monitor the levels along roads near your residence. Rising water on roadways can cut off access to homes and IDHS said some residents may consider evacuating in advance.
For more information on how to prepare your family for emergency situations, please visit IDHS’s website.
To check the current levels of local tributaries, please visit Chad’s Blog.