Watching rivers closely as rain arrives and snow melts
Rogers Park in Goshen is a place that frequently floods in a city used to rising waters when it rains. So, already the cards are stacked against areas along local rivers in terms of flood potential over the next few days.
There’s still about 4 inches of snow on the ground in Goshen with a frost depth of 8 inches.
That means that with warmer temperatures on the way, the melt will be fast and any rainfall will cause runoff problems. While county officials aren’t as concerned with a repeat of the flooding of 2018, they are watching low lying areas closely, as rain on top of snow is sure to cause issues.
"We have activated our sandbag stations in both the county as well as the city that residents can take advantage of," Elkhart County Emergency Manager Jennifer Tobey said Tuesday.
In 2018, most of Michiana had a similar snow water equivalent and frost depth compared to current conditions. However, Michiana in 2018 saw 6-7 inches of rain, compared with the forecast 1-2 inches of rainfall coming Wednesday and Thursday. Still, forecasters with the National Weather Service say that shouldn’t diminish the risk that this potential flooding brings.
"Especially anyone who is out and about near rivers or in low lying areas that tend to flood, if they come across flooded waters, don't try to pass through it," warns NWS Northern Indiana hydrologist Chris Morris. "Turn around, don't drown."