Residents worried about weekend rain, potential floods - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Residents worried about weekend rain, potential floods

City workers unload sandbags in the Ravenswood area. City workers unload sandbags in the Ravenswood area.
Residents like Suze Stam are keeping close watch on rising river levels. Residents like Suze Stam are keeping close watch on rising river levels.

Residents are bracing for the weekend's expected rain and the flooding it could cause.

That includes people like Suze Stam in the Ravenswood community east of Indianapolis.

"When the White River is above her banks in flood stage, the creek can not get into the river, therefore this creek backs up to flood a lot in the area over here, including my house," Stam explained Friday.

Every time the forecast calls for rain, she immediately gets worried and that includes this weekend.

"I'm praying," Stam laughed.  "I'd rather have snow than this, but I'm hoping we don't get it because it's not a really good time of year with Christmas."

She, along with her neighbors, spent Friday trying to get an early start by putting out sandbags to keep the water out and the holiday celebrations in.

Even if you don't live in that area, residents everywhere can take steps to avoid flooding.

"Now that the snow and the ice has melted, people may notice there is leaves or debris that's collected in front of the storm sewers on the streets in front of their homes so we would tell people to go out and clear any debris and leaves away from those inlets," said Sarah Holsapple with Citizens Energy.

It's perhaps one of the easiest ways to stay safe.

"With all the snow melt and added rain, if the water can't drain on streets, then there's going to be flooding in streets and ultimately in yards and then potentially into peoples homes," Holsapple said.

But that's not enough for Suze.

"I can live in my house because of good neighbors," she said.

Forty years and 10 floods later, she says it's her faith that's keeping her calm as she waits to see what mother nature unleashes this weekend.

"I pray to God we don't flood," she said.

Sandbags available

The Department of Public Works is making sandbags available to Marion County residents on Sunday. Sandbags will be available at 1725 S. West Street in Indianapolis on Sunday (Dec. 22) from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Residents can pick up a maximum of 25 bags per household.

Residents should report flooding or drainage problems to Citizen's Energy Group at 317-924-3311.

Filled sandbags are available free of charge for Hamilton County residents. Hamilton County Emergency Management is making the bags available on a self-serve basis from 3pm-10pm Friday and 7am-10pm Saturday and Sunday at 1717 Pleasant St. in Noblesville.

Statewide flooding forecast

The National Weather Service has posted flood warnings along southern and central streams and predicts the highest flood crests along the East Fork of the White River since April 2011.

The weather service said Friday that flooding will develop during Christmas week in much of central and southern Indiana, with significant flooding possible in portions of southern Indiana.

The weather service says 2 to more than 4 inches of rain will fall over central and southern Indiana over the weekend, adding to snowmelt already in streams. The heaviest rainfall is expected south of Interstate 70.

The affected streams also included the Wabash, White, Mississinewa, Muscatatuck, Big Blue, Driftwood and Flatrock rivers and Buck, Clifty, Fall and Sugar creeks.

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