Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Warnings abound today for flooding road closures and potholes

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The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is reminding Hoosiers to be aware of the possibility of strong storms this evening followed by flooding in some areas.

The National Weather Service is predicting that the storms could contain damaging winds, lightning, and periods of moderate to heavy rain. The combination of melting snow, rain, and a deeply frozen ground may cause flooding beginning tonight.

Make sure cell phones and other electronic devices are fully charged in case of a power outage. Be ready to take shelter in your home, place of work, or other location if the need arises, preferably in the lowest level of a building away from windows and doors.

If you live near bodies of water (ponds, rivers, streams) monitor local weather and river forecasts and keep an eye on any waterways along roads near your residence, as water levels can change rapidly and flooding can begin with little or no warning.

Consider evacuating in advance of flooding if you think rising water may cut off your access routes to and from home.

When driving, never attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it seems shallow. Water can conceal dips or 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 who are stranded.

Remember, 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 information on flooding and severe weather preparation, visit www.in.gov/dhs/getprepared.htm

INDOT on Road Closures and Potholes

Meanwhile, heavy rainfall combined with snow melt has already forced the Indiana Department of Transportation to close the U.S. Highway 20 Bypass in South Bend, and INDOT is saying that there could be more closures as snow continues to melt.

“INDOT crews are patrolling state roads, posting high water signs, or closing roads as needed,” INDOT said just before deadline today. “At this time high water closures on state roadways across the Northwest Indiana District are not widespread, but motorists need to practice extreme caution due to the potential for flooding.”

INDOT was also warning motorists to “be on high alert for potholes” on roads which are covered with water.

“INDOT crews continue to work extra hours patching the abundance of potholes across the district, caused by our brutal winter weather, but it will take time to fill all current and newly opening potholes,” INDOT said. “Through Feb. 1, INDOT crews had used 7,200-plus tons of pothole patching mix statewide during fiscal year 2014. That’s 1,000 tons more than INDOT’s five-year average for an entire fiscal year, and there is still plenty of winter to come.”

Drivers in Northwest Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest or Twitter @INDOTNorthwest or www.trafficwise.in.gov

 

Posted 2/20/2014