The above image shows the National Spring Flood Risk for 2014 defined by risk of exceeding Minor, Moderate, and Major Flood Levels, via the National Weather Service.
The majority if Indiana, specifically Central Indiana, is predicted to have a Minor risk of flood this Spring. Much of what will determine the severity of flood and water damage this season will depend on the amount of future rainfall we receive. Pretty obvious, right? Well, amount of rainfall, or lack thereof, is an obvious contributor to flood. But the ground’s ability to absorb the rainfall is a contributing factor as well.
This was an unusually cold and wet Winter. Not just in Indiana; even in parts of the country that usually remain fairly mild during the winter months. The record-setting cold temperatures and snowfall produced an above normal amount of water in the current snowpack, and a deep layer of frozen ground. Recent snowmelt has increased the near surface soil moisture and elevated the potential for rapid runoff from rain events. Ice in the rivers will also contribute to the risk of flooding to ice jams.
The areas that have the most risk include the Upper Mississippi Basin, Great Lakes region, Ohio River Valley, northern Middle Atlantic, New York and New England, while Indiana should remain fairly uneventful – at least that’s the prediction.
With that in mind, there is still ample time left in the accumulation period for the spring flood potential to change. Heavy rainfall at any time can lead to flooding, even in areas where overall risk is considered low. The best remedy is prevention. There’s a lot of advice on our website, and more to come, on how to waterproof your home, how to prevent water damage, and what to do in the scenario that damage does occur.
The latest information for your specific area, including official watches and warnings should be obtained at: http://water.weather.gov