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Jacob Seay from Johnson's Towing pulls another car out of the flood waters. This one at Sycamore under the viaduct on the east side on May 28, 2019. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

With the National Weather Service calling for anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rain Friday night into Saturday around Central Indiana, area departments are passing out unfilled sandbags.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Howard County residents can pick up those sandbags and then go fill them at the Howard County Highway Department, 625 S. Berkley Road, or on the east side of the Kokomo Street Department building, 720 E. Boulevard.

Residents are encouraged to call and make arrangements before picking up the sandbags, and EMA Director Janice Hart said people need to also bring their own shovels.

If you are picking up the sandbags before 3 p.m., contact 765-456-2242. If it’s after 3 p.m., contact 765-614-3076.

The Tipton County Highway Department is also offering free sandbags. Residents can pick them at the department’s building, 405 Market Rd., Tipton. There will be sand and shovels near the bags; residents will have to fill up their own bags.

A Flood Watch is in effect for Howard, Miami and Tipton counties from 7 p.m. Friday until 7 p.m. Saturday, and residents are encouraged to use extreme caution, especially if you live in low-lying areas.

A Flood Warning is in effect for the Wabash River from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 3:10 a.m. Tuesday, January 14, affecting Miami County.

Hart also took a few moments on Thursday afternoon to discuss some other safety tips when or if the waters begin to rise.

“With flooding, it’s the saying of turn around, don’t drown,” Hart said. “Just be cautious and careful. With the amount of rainfall that we could potentially get, the ground is going to be soaked pretty good.”

So be cautious of driving or wading through floodwaters, Hart said, and obey road closure signs even if you cannot physically see standing water.

The CDC also has several flood safety tips on their website, such as never drink or bathe in floodwaters and make sure to properly secure all loose outdoor furniture or other possessions.

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