News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 3, 2014

Under water

Heavy rain hits, rampant flooding spreads across Midwest

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Possible flooding and high winds were expected to enter the Wabash Valley by this morning, and officials are warning the public to take precautions and to avoid driving on flooded roads.

Motorists in high-profile vehicles were also alerted to high winds that could cause driving difficulties, according to a special weather statement released Thursday afternoon by the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

Flood warnings were issued for multiple counties, including Vigo, Clay, Greene, Parke, Sullivan and Vermillion.

Dorene Hojnicki of the Vigo County Emergency Management Agency told the Tribune-Star that no flooding had been reported as of Thursday afternoon, but with an additional 3 to 4 inches of rainfall expected overnight, she did expect flooding to occur in some low-lying areas by this morning.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security was encouraging Hoosiers to be prepared, as heavy rains continued overnight and today.

According to the NWS, rainfall amounts from 2 to 4 inches produced flooding in central Indiana.

Runoff from the rainfall will continue the flooding, and the NWS expects that flooding will increase in small creeks, streams, along highways and at underpasses.

County roads and farmland along creek banks and other low-lying areas also are subject to flooding.

Hojnicki said that some sandbags have already been prepared in anticipation of spring flooding. The sandbags will be distributed as needed by EMA officials.

Around the state on Thursday, police were issuing reports of stranded and rescued motorists.

It only takes 6 inches of water to reach the bottoms of most car doors. It takes about one foot of water to float most vehicles.

Motorists who find themselves stranded in water, should act fast by getting themselves and everyone in the vehicle out of their seatbelt and out a window onto the roof of the car.

Indiana State Police divers advise to swim only if it is a necessity, and don’t swim against the current.

For more severe weather safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.