News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 19, 2014

EDITORIAL: And now for a break, kind of

A hint of springtime, and all that goes with it

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The numbers on the page, the monitor or on the TV screen tell a story that should make us all breathe a sigh of relief.

Today’s forecast high temperature in west-central Indiana: near 60 degrees.

We join those who have wondered in recent weeks if we’d ever feel that kind of mild air again.

Enjoy it while you can. If you can. For beyond that cheerful temperature are few reasons for optimism. And the National Weather Service is doing its level best to not let us get comfortable with even the thought of a late-February foray into springtime.

Here’s the rest of today’s forecast: Very windy. Rain showers and chance of thunderstorms. Widespread fog. South winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent.

While we’d prefer a soft day to accompany the enticing temperatures, it’s just not meant to be. All things considered, we’ll take it.

Meanwhile, the Indiana State Police aren’t getting caught up in the mild moment. They are turning their attention from icy road hazards to flooded roadways, always a concern in this part of the state.

The Indiana State Police has offered safety tips for drivers before they encounter high water conditions:

• Always carry a cell phone and charger. Heed warnings.

• Never drive around barricades at water crossings.

• Be especially careful at night or early morning when it can be difficult to see water and its depth across the roadway.

• Reduce your speed in rain and never enter flowing water.

• Driving through water affects brakes, reducing their effectiveness until they dry out.

• If you end up in water, exit your vehicle through a window and climb on top of your car. Call 911 from there and wait for help. Ride the top like a boat, as vehicles will often float for several minutes.

• Remember it only takes six inches of water to reach the bottoms of most car doors and one foot of water to float most vehicles.

• If you find yourself stranded in water, act fast. Get yourself and everyone in your vehicle out of their seatbelt and out a window onto the roof of the car.

If all this talk of springtime weather hazards alarms you, don’t worry. The weather service promises a return to winter in a few days.