Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 22, 2014

Winds, rains cause minor flooding

Wind gusts cause damage to Tipton buildings

By Mike Fletcher Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Heavy winds and rain combined with melting snow caused some flooding in low lying areas, but there were no reported injuries or damage in Howard County.

The high winds and thunderstorms went through the area quickly Thursday with winds gusting more than 50 miles per hour in some areas.

There have been reports of water standing on some county roads, but no roads have been blocked off, said Janice Hart, director of Howard County Emergency Management Agency.

“Dispatchers said there have been no complaints about any flooding so far,” Hart said Friday afternoon.

“As of 9:30 a.m., the Wildcat was at 8.77 feet,” she said. “Usually we start seeing problems [with flooding] when it hits 9.63 to 10 feet.”

Hart said with colder temperatures expected over the weekend, the creek hopefully will not overflow its banks.

“Hopefully, the snow will slowly soak into the ground and we’ll have a slow melt-off.”

Brad Herold, a hydro-meteorological technician for the National Weather Service, said temperatures are expected to remain in the mid 30s next week with lows dipping into the teens, which means the water on the roads will re-freeze in some spots.

In Tipton County, straight line winds caused minor damage to a roof on a business on 4th Street Thursday, but no injuries were reported, said Chuck Bell, 911/communications director for Tipton County.

Bell said a large out building in the same area was also taken down by the winds.

Power outages occurred for a brief time as Tipton Utilities repaired a downed power line.

Bell reported a few isolated roads had water covering them, making them impassable.

At 11;30 a.m., Bell said those roads remained closed, but were expected to reopen by the afternoon.

Big Cicero Creek is continuing to rise and currently sits at 9 feet 6 inches and the flood stage is 10 feet, said Bell.

“Some parts have breached the banks in the golf course area and a small portion of the park,” he said. “We closed the park down last night as a precaution. But the water is not rising near as fast as it was last night and we don’t expect it to cause any major problems.”

Mike Fletcher can be reached at 765-454-8565 or mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com.

The Indiana State Police has listed some safety tips in case you encounter high water conditions. • Always carry a cellphone and charger. • Pay attention to local media reports and heed warnings issued by the National Weather Service. • Never drive around barricades at water crossings. • Be especially careful at night or early morning as it can be difficult to see water and its depth across a roadway. • Reduce your speed in rain and never enter flowing water. Driving through water creates less tire contact with the road surface (hydroplaning) and increases your chance of crashing.at • Driving through water affects your brakes, reducing their effectiveness until they dry out. • If you end up in water, immediately exit your vehicle through a window and climb on top of your car. Call 9-1-1 from there and wait for help to arrive. Ride the top like a boat, as vehicles will often float for several minutes. • Be aware that road erosion can occur anytime there is running or standing water on a roadway. • 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.