Statement as issued Thursday morning by Allen County officials:
(February 20, 2014) — A combination of melting snow and moderate to locally heavy rainfall has Allen County officials warning residents to take action now against possible flooding in the area.
The flooding threat has led the Allen County Highway Department to offer citizens free sandbags.
The fill-them-yourself bags and sand will be available anytime until further notice inside the salt storage units at the highway department's two maintenance facilities. The north facility is located at 2234 Carroll Road and the south facility is located at 8317 East Tillman Road. Sandbags are available on a first-come basis and you will need to bring your own shovel.
The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
Motorists are reminded to watch for water over roads due to flash flooding. Here is some advice courtesy of the Indiana State Police:
Don't drive around barricades at water crossings.
Be especially vigilant at night. Many drowning deaths occur at night when it is difficult to see water crossings.
Don't cross or enter flowing water. Driving fast through high water on roads is not a solution. Faster speeds create less tire contact with the road surface and increase your chance of crashing.
Driving through standing water may affect your brakes. Test your brakes at low speeds as soon as you exit the water.
If you choose to abandon your vehicle, respect the force of the water flow or you may be swept off your feet. After you exit the vehicle seek higher ground.
Be aware that road erosion may occur when there is running or standing water.
Remember that six inches of water will reach the bottoms of most car doors; one foot of water will float many vehicles; and two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles.