Chesterton Tribune



No flooding here yet but more rain coming

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Duneland remained afloat this morning, after the heaviest and most sustained rains slid to the north.

But public works officials here are keeping a weather eye on the wet stuff expected to hit later today and tonight.

“I think so far we dodged a bullet but we have to be on guard this afternoon and evening,” Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune this morning.

Although the rain was “going pretty good for awhile” on Wednesday, it never fell heavily enough, fast enough, to overwhelm the storm drains, Schnadenberg said. “All the drains had a chance to keep up and we haven’t received any reports of flooding.”

The notoriously flood-prone alley behind Val’s Pizza at Broadway and 11th Street--the lowest area in town--apparently kept its head above water. “Val’s is good,” Schnadenberg said. “There was no flooding there to my knowledge. It’s when we get half an inch or an inch of rain in 15 minutes when we run into problems.”

Schnadenberg did say that a tree came down in Morgan Park but that was the only incident during Wednesday’s storms.

Today? Who knows. “We’ve made our preparations. We’ve loaded the pumps on the trucks. Everybody’s on standby. Right now we’re cleaning drains and opening up as many waterways as we can.”

Porter Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer was in the same boat in her patch. The Triangle and Porter Ave. lift stations went into high alarm around midnight and crews were keeping them pumped out and there was some minor flooding of roadways in the area of Waverly Road and State Park Road.

But generally--so far--all is under control.

The ground, however, “is now 100 percent saturated,” Brueckheimer said. “So it’s just hold on today.”

For the Porter County Highway Department, the biggest problem was a colossal oak tree split in half by lightning in the Sager Road area. No homes were damaged, no lines downed, but the tree was huge--125 feet in height--and proved “too big” for county crews, Deputy Highway Superintendent David James said. A contractor had to be hired to do the work, he said, and when all is said and done the job took most of the day.

Otherwise, James said, “So far okay.”

“We haven’t had any major flooding yet,” he noted, knocking on wood. “But we’re saturated. If we get another inch, we’re going to be busy.”

24-Hour Rainfall Totals

According to the National Weather Service, the single highest rainfall total over the last 24 hours--approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. today--was posted in Oak Brook, Ill.: 6.69 inches. Chicago recorded 3.77 inches.

Here in Porter County, Chesterton reported 1.17 inches; Porter, 1.10 inches; and Valparaiso, 1.25 inches.

The highest total in Northwest Indiana: 2.25 inches in Highland.


Posted 4/18/2013