By KEVIN NEVERS
Duneland remained afloat this morning, after the heaviest and most sustained
rains slid to the north.
But public works officials here are keeping a weather eye on the wet stuff
expected to hit later today and tonight.
“I think so far we dodged a bullet but we have to be on guard this afternoon
and evening,” Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the
Chesterton Tribune this morning.
Although the rain was “going pretty good for awhile” on Wednesday, it never
fell heavily enough, fast enough, to overwhelm the storm drains,
Schnadenberg said. “All the drains had a chance to keep up and we haven’t
received any reports of flooding.”
The notoriously flood-prone alley behind Val’s
Pizza at Broadway and 11th Street--the lowest area in town--apparently kept
its head above water. “Val’s is
good,” Schnadenberg said. “There was no flooding there to my knowledge. It’s
when we get half an inch or an inch of rain in 15 minutes when we run into
Schnadenberg did say that a tree came down in Morgan Park but that was the
only incident during Wednesday’s storms.
Today? Who knows. “We’ve made our preparations. We’ve loaded the pumps on
the trucks. Everybody’s on standby. Right now we’re cleaning drains and
opening up as many waterways as we can.”
Porter Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer was in the same boat in her
patch. The Triangle and Porter Ave. lift stations went into high alarm
around midnight and crews were keeping them pumped out and there was some
minor flooding of roadways in the area of Waverly Road and State Park Road.
But generally--so far--all is under control.
The ground, however, “is now 100 percent saturated,” Brueckheimer said. “So
it’s just hold on today.”
For the Porter County Highway Department, the biggest problem was a colossal
oak tree split in half by lightning in the Sager Road area. No homes were
damaged, no lines downed, but the tree was huge--125 feet in height--and
proved “too big” for county crews,
Deputy Highway Superintendent David James said. A contractor had to be hired
to do the work, he said, and when all is said and done the job took most of
Otherwise, James said, “So far okay.”
“We haven’t had any major flooding yet,” he noted, knocking on wood. “But
we’re saturated. If we get another inch, we’re going to be busy.”
24-Hour Rainfall Totals
According to the National Weather Service, the single highest rainfall total
over the last 24 hours--approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. today--was
posted in Oak Brook, Ill.: 6.69 inches. Chicago recorded 3.77 inches.
Here in Porter County, Chesterton reported 1.17 inches; Porter, 1.10 inches;
and Valparaiso, 1.25 inches.
The highest total in Northwest Indiana: 2.25 inches in Highland.