Heavy snow fall this winter and upcoming warmer weather means increased potential for sewer and river flooding. Officials across the state are taking precautions to protect homes, businesses and farmland from flood damage.
Kokomo received about 60 inches of snow this winter – the most the area has seen in decades. The current temperature increase is forcing the city to monitor its water levels, and after heavy flooding last spring, Mayor Greg Goodnight says his town learned how to prepare for floods and prevent damage.
“Well, we’ve done this before,” Goodnight says. “We have evacuated areas, there’s been times we used sandbags and provided sandbags for people and things like that, so we are preparing for this.”
Indiana University professor of Hydrology Greg Olyphant says the snow melt will cause problems because it may have nowhere to go.
“If the ground stays frozen and we have a melting of the snow, then most of that snow will end up moving fairly rapidly as overland flow towards the nearest streams and you will have a great threat of flooding,” Olyphant says.
Snow is melting slowly now, but rising temperatures throughout the week could increase the threat of flooding.