By JOHN KLINE
---- — GOSHEN — Crisis averted, at least for now.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service Thursday announced the flooding concerns that had been predicted to hit the area Thursday did not pan out as significantly as predicted due primarily to lower than anticipated temperatures failing to melt a significant portion of the existing snowpack.
“Because temps have stayed cooler than originally anticipated, we aren’t losing a lot of the snowpack, so it’s really just the rain running off of the snowpack that is causing problems,” said Evan Bentley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Northern Indiana office. “So as far as the flooding is concerned, it’s not causing as big of an issue as we originally thought it might. At this point we aren’t really expecting much flooding at all. All the rivers should stay within their banks, and really all of the issues we’ll likely see will be on the roads with the rainwater pooling due to a lot of the drains being blocked by snow and ice.”
Temperatures had been predicted to reach into the low 50’s Thursday, though actual temperatures ended up hovering around the mid-to-high 30’s for much of the day.
However, while flooding concerns for the area appear to have subsided for the most part, Bentley did warn that some significant wind would likely hit the area in the evening hours of Thursday and into the early morning hours Friday.
“The real story will be the wind, which will pick up in the early evening and into the overnight hours,” Bentley said, noting that a Wind Advisory has been issued for the Elkhart County area through 6 p.m. Friday. “With that we’re expecting to see sustained winds of around 35 mph, with gusts of up to 50 to 55 mph at times.”
As for what the next few days have in store for the area as far as temperatures, Bentley said temperatures Friday and moving into Saturday will likely hover in the mid-to-upper 30’s before beginning to drop down again into the lower 20’s on Sunday.
“And from there temps will likely just keep getting colder and colder as we move into next week,” Bentley said, noting that temps could drop down to as low as 15 degrees by Thursday.
Over at the Goshen Street Department Thursday, Street Commissioner Denny Long reported several instances of flooding throughout the greater Goshen area.
“There are some streets that are flooded and some streets that aren’t bad,” Long said, noting that the biggest issues appear to be related to drains and catch basins that are blocked and not allowing the pooling water to drain. “The areas that normally flood flooded, some of the areas that we didn’t think would flood flooded, and we’ve been having some issues with the catch basins, where once we got the catch basins uncovered, we found that they were completely packed with ice. So that’s causing an issue with drainage as well.”
Along those lines, Long indicated that sandbags and sand are currently being provided to Goshen residents with flooding concerns at the Goshen Street Department, 475 Steury Ave., Goshen, during the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We’re providing the sand and bags, but they have to fill the bags themselves and haul them away,” Long said. “But we are providing the sand, the bags, and we’re providing the shovels for them to use to fill the bags.”
For more information about sandbag availability, Goshen residents are asked to call the department at 574-534-9711 during normal business hours.