Heavy Rains Prompt Flooding; Here’s How To Stay Safe

Heavy rains and even some isolated severe storms during the afternoon hours across southern Indiana Thursday resulted in a few instances of flash flooding across the listening area.

The Jasper Waste Water Treatment Plant reported receiving just over one and a quarter of an inch of rain on Thursday alone but if you consider the rain that fell just over the day or so before, the Jasper plant reported experiencing more than 3 and a quarter of an inch of rain during a more than 48 hour period.

Some isolated areas saw even larger totals. Flash flooding was reported in a number of intersections in communities across the area.

As mentioned, the band of heavy showers Thursday also included some Thunderstorm activity including severe storms.

In fact, reported cloud rotation over Pike County early Thursday afternoon prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Tornado Warning for parts of Pike County. It was part of a storm that was strong enough to cause damage to some structures in the Oakland City area initially, but the storm did tend to weaken as it headed in a northeastern direction.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for north, northwestern Dubois County as well but expired shortly afterwards.

The heavy rains on top of already saturated grounds caused flooding in mostly low-lying areas and small streams and creeks. Rises on larger rivers will be likely through the weekend so residents can expect to see closures on certain rural roadways over the next few days.

Motorists are encouraged to be on the lookout for any flooded areas or roads and if you do encounter any do not attempt to drive through those flooded areas.

A strong cold front followed the band of heavy showers during the afternoon and evening hours Thursday bringing much colder temperatures causing some already wet roadways especially higher elevated roadways, bridges and overpasses to perhaps freeze over, therefore motorists also need to be careful of any slick spots on roads as well.

SATURATED GROUND AND RAIN CAUSING FLOODING

With several snow and rain events in the past few weeks, the Indiana Department of Transportation reminds motorists to continue to watch for flooding on state highways not to mention rual areas.

With the ground coming off of a deep freeze coupled with this week’s heavy rains and the aftermath of several snow events, the level of many of our waterways will or already have began to rise above flood stage.

Here in the department’s southwestern district, the most common places for flooding are along the Ohio River in the southern portion of the district and along the White River in the eastern and central parts of the district.

The Ohio River at Tell City is expected to reach flood stage (38 ft) by mid-day today (Friday, Feb. 8) and continue to rise to 39.6 ft or higher.

Likewise, The White River at Edwardsport is expected to reach flood stage (15 ft) and continue to rise to 23.6 ft by this Monday February 11th before cresting.

INDOT will monitor all roads and post-flooding updates to their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. The information is also available via the INDOT mobile app for Apple and Android devices or from a traditional computer at indot.carsprogram.org.

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN

Remember, if you encounter water over the roadway turn around; never drive through floodwaters. Just a few inches of water is enough to cause a vehicle to stall and float. This could be a very dangerous and potentially deadly situation. Never drive around signs or barricades to attempt to navigate a flooded road.

Drivers who do can face fines and other legal matters on top of potentially losing their vehicle in the water.

If you do encounter a flooded road without warning, please call INDOT’s customer service line at 855-INDOT4U (463-6848) and report it.

STAY INFORMED

Motorists can learn about highway work zones and other traffic alerts at indot.carsprogram.org, call 800-261-ROAD (7623) or 511 from a mobile phone.

Follow @INDOTSouthwest on Twitter and at Facebook.com/INDOTVincennesDistrict.

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