With more heavy rain predicted and the potential for severe storms, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security reminds Hoosiers to practice safety and heed public safety officials’ warnings regarding high water.
The National Weather Service has reported that parts of northern and a majority of central Indiana will face a slight risk for severe weather, and parts of southern Indiana have an enhanced risk for severe weather. The main threats with these storms will be damaging winds, isolated tornadoes, large hail, dangerous lightning, and heavy rain.
More heavy rain may worsen flooding along rivers, creeks, tributaries and other low-lying areas. It’s crucial to follow the directives of local public safety officials to avoid dangerous situations caused by high or moving water.
First responders in Indiana have performed dozens of water rescues this summer, with at least 15 such rescues taking place overnight July 13 and 14 in Bartholomew County alone. Many of the rescues involved motorists whose vehicles were in flood waters.
Drivers are reminded to:
· Heed all signage posted to alert of high water.
· Never drive into flooded roadways, even if they appear passable. Only a few inches can stall a vehicle or hide road hazards like potholes.
· Don’t drive around barricades. Drivers endanger themselves, their passengers, and the first responders who may attempt a rescue, when driving through high water.
· Plan alternate routes to your destination in case one is blocked.
Additionally, citizens who may encounter flood waters in their neighborhood are reminded:
· Follow in-person safety directives of first responders at or near flooding sites.
· Never try to cross moving water on foot; as little as a few inches can knock adults off their feet.
The State Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor the weather situation, as well as assist counties as local officials prepare and respond to weather-related issues throughout the state.