Overnight rain has attributed to even more flooding in the Kosciusko County area. Fortunately, there are now two locations in the county for residents feeling the affects of rising waters to get sand and sandbags to prevent damage to properties.
The Barbee Chain of Lakes is being especially hit hard by flood waters. North Webster Fire Chief Jeremy Likens said sand and sandbags are now available at the south end of the North Webster Community Center. “Everything they need is there, but it is self serve,” he noted.
Kosciusko County Emergency Management Director Ed Rock said sand and sandbags are also available to county residents at the county highway department on Old U.S. 30. Residents will need to bring shovels and bag their own sand.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning, which is in effect until noon Sunday, for the Tippecanoe River affecting Kosciusko, Marshall, Fulton and Starke counties.
At 10 p.m. Tuesday, the water was a 13.2 feet and steady. Flood stage is 12 feet. Forecasters predict water will rise to a crest near 14 feet before it begins receding Saturday.
While constant rains don’t help, continual flooding is largely attributed to a buildup of debris from the Tippecanoe River. According to Grace College Environmental Science Professor and Director of Kosciusko Lakes and Streams Dr. Nate Bosch, the river is currently constricted with debris in over 100 locations along a 30-mile stretch in the county.
For the county lakes that flow into the Tippecanoe River, the debris blockage downstream causes the water to back up much like a clogged drain.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday issued an order that motorboats on any of the lakes in the Barbee chain must operate only at idle speed. To see water levels in real time, the U.S. Geological Survey maintains two stream gauges on the Tippecanoe River in Kosciusko County. Click HERE to see the current water level and stream flow at the outlet of Lake TIppecanoe in Oswego.
For information on how you may report damages caused by severe weather and flooding that began April 17 click here. A link to the form is also available on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website. In the middle of the page under “Featured Topics,” click on “Report Damage From Severe Storms and Flooding – April 17-22, 2013.”
And, as always, never drive vehicles through flooded areas because roadways could be washed out or the water too deep for safe passage.