HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. - With flood watches and warnings ready to go into effect across Indiana, some counties are getting a jump start on preparing its residents for possible high waters.
Water runoff from melting snow and ice compounded with heavy Thursday rains on frozen ground will lead to flooding along rivers and streams, as well as in low-lying areas and badly cleared streets.
Hamilton County Emergency Management and the county sheriff's office are allowing residents to get sand bags Thursday through Sunday to prepare for the flooding.
"Once flooding occurs it is too late for sandbags to be of use," officials said. "So planning ahead is key to minimizing damage."
County officials said there are no filled sandbags at this time. Unfilled sandbags, along with sand to fill the bags, will be available at 1717 Pleasant St. in Noblesville during these days and hours:
• Thursday: 6 to 8 p.m.
• Friday: 4 to 10 p.m.
• Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Sunday: Noon to 2 p.m.
Other flooding reminders from emergency management officials:
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of many passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
• One foot of water will float most vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks.
• As little as a few inches of running water can cause a person to lose balance.
• If you end up in water, exit your vehicle through a window and climb on top of your car. Call 911 from there and wait for help to arrive as you ride the top like a boat. Get everyone out of the vehicle and onto the roof quickly as vehicles will often float for a time before sinking.
• Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
• Do not try to take short cuts as they may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
• Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.