Clogged drains, gutters raise flooding risk

Ice and snow built up in gutters can lead to flooding problems around the house.

There is something under all that snow that is making the flooding threat more likely in local neighborhoods.

The ground is soaked, the snow has turned to ice and, with the threat of heavy rain coming, central Indiana is set up for flooding.

Under the snow and ice, there are leaves and dirt, which create the perfect dam for a street drain. The Department of Public Works puts the responsibility of keeping the street drains clear in the lap of those that live on the street.

If you haven't cleaned out your gutters, the very same thing that is happening in the street is going on in the gutters - ice on top of leaves on top of dirt. When it starts raining, the water will run right off the roof and start flooding around your house.

"Really, the trick is to get the water away from your house," said Dillon Enright of Sullivan Hardware. "Making sure the water gets away from the foundation."

It may sound like simple advice, until you realize that your gutters are jam-packed with ice and leaves. In that case, gutter extensions are not going to work.

"Especially in these older neighborhoods, you are going to have water, regardless of how far you get it away," Enright said.

If you don't get the water moving away from out of your house, you're going to have to get it out of the house.

"First, you want to evacuate the water from whatever space that you have," said Tom Sissler at Hoosier Tool Rental. "If you've got any kind of localized flooding, you want to get the majority of the water out utilizing waste pumps, vacuums, dehumidifiers and fans."

But that will only solve part of the problem.

" go to the dehumidifiers," Tom said.

Another good idea is to have downspout extenders to direct all the water as far away from your house as possible.

The bottom line is that an ounce of prevention could save you a mountain of headaches.

If you see street flooding in Marion County, you can report it to the Mayor's Action Center at 317-327-4622.