INDIANAPOLIS - Widespread rainfall on Sunday night and Monday combined with melting snow and saturated soils is causing lowland flooding and closures of state highways in Central and Southern Indiana. The National Weather Service has declared a Flood Warning this morning for several counties and waterways.
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) crews have been deployed to sign and barricade flooded highways and clear debris from drainage facilities. Flood waters can rise and recede rapidly, so motorists are encouraged to plan their travels with INDOT's TrafficWise Traveler Information Service. Road closure and severe weather information is available online at http://www.trafficwise.in.gov/ or by dialing 800-261-ROAD (7623).
National Flood Awareness Week is March 14 through 18. When encountering a flooded roadway, death and vehicle damage can be prevented by following the simple advice to "Turn Around, Don't Drown". According to the National Weather Service, most flash flooding deaths are vehicle related. Six inches of standing water is enough to cause passenger cars to stall and a foot of water will float many vehicles.
Driving into flood waters is one of the most dangerous things one can do behind the wheel. Never drive through flooded roadways, especially if the water is moving rapidly, and never drive around the barriers warning you that the road is flooded.
County surveyors or city and town public works agencies oversee drainage in their areas, and INDOT coordinates drainage of state highways with these local authorities. INDOT maintained roadways are required to accept all the runoff they receive. Should flooding be occurring on both sides of a state highway, the obstruction preventing proper drainage is likely further downstream.
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