Warmup in Temperatures May Cause Potential Meltdown for Snow-pack

Published 02/18 2014 06:28PM

Updated 02/19 2014 09:12AM

The city of Fort Wayne purchased six homes in a flood zone last summer so flooding for those families would no longer be an issue. Now the people who were left behind say they are still having problems.

The Fernwood and Dalevue neighborhood has been notorious for flooding almost every year when the seasons change, and the snow begins to melt.

"Since about the 1950's there's been chronic flooding in that area. We've gone out there many times to assist," said Frank Suarez with City Utilities.

The six homes that experienced the worst of flooding have been bought out by the city. Demolition on those homes began just days ago. The other neighbors in the area say their homes too, have suffered damage.

"I know about the area down here and I was surprised when I found out my daughter bought a house over here," said George Hill, one of the many residents who live just outside the flood prone area.

"The biggest concern is all this snow. If it melts too fast were going to have a lot of trouble," he said.

"One of the things were asking residents to do is to clear storm drains," said Frank Suarez with City of Fort Wayne Utilities. "We do have our city utility crews clearing them when they see need but they can’t clear all 19,000."

Suarez says it’s important for the drains to be clear because if they're blocked, the streets may flood. And if the snow melts too quickly, it will back up and still flood. To fix this problem, the city is bringing in a large storm pipe to the neighborhood as well as additional inlets.

"Plus were putting in earthen berm over the area that will help," said Suarez.

Total construction costs for these projects will cost about $420,000. The Board of Public Works meets Wednesday morning where the final contracting bid will be approved.

There are also hazards to be aware of while driving if the roadways become flooded. The tips below are from the Indiana State Police: 

•Always carry a cell phone and charger.
•Pay attention to local media reports and heed warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
•Never drive around barricades at water crossings.
•Be especially careful at night or early morning as it can be difficult to see water and it’s depth across the roadway.
•Reduce your speed in rain and NEVER enter flowing water. Driving through water creates less tire contact with the road surface (hydroplaning) and increases your chance of crashing.
•Driving through water affects your brakes reducing their effectiveness until they dry out.
•If you end up in water, immediately exit your vehicle through a window and climb on top of your car. Call 9-1-1 from there and wait for help to arrive. Ride the top like a boat, as vehicles will often float for several minutes.
•Be aware that road erosion can occur anytime there is running or standing water on a roadway.
•Remember it only takes six inches of water to reach the bottoms of most car doors and one foot of water to float most vehicles.

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