COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Thundersnow…Thundersleet….Thunderstorms……and lots and lots of rain today and as they say, it’s all about location, location, location. The border counties in Southern Lower Michigan, beginning with Hillsdale on the east and working west through Branch onto Berrien county on the Lakeshore are now part of a Flood Warning because of rainfall totals already ranging from a half inch to an inch and a quarter. The flood warning, which was issued at 11 this morning, stays in effect for 24 hours. It also impacts parts of north east and north central Indiana and Northwest Ohio. Areas to the north are part of a winter weather advisory that remains in effect until 7 tomorrow night. So be prepared. Two words of advice from Branch County Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Miner as he cautions you should get ready for the wild weather ride over the next couple of days. Flooded roadways can be a hazard and according to Miner, all it takes is six inches of moving water to knock an adult over trying to walk through it and two feet of water across a roadway can actually float a mid-size car. So if a motorist comes across a flooded roadway, don’t try to drive through it because you don’t know what’s under the pavement. The roadway might be deteriorated or there might be an area where there was a culvert. As far as areas of Branch County that might be more vulnerable than other sections of the county to flooding, Miner says, first and always, lakefront properties, and those homeowners have come to expect it from time to time. Then there are areas that are already identified by FEMA as being in a flood zone. This storm system could result in people that don’t ordinarily see water in their basements find it there now because of the snowpack around their houses and the inability of the moisture to enter the groundwater system because of the depth of the freeze line. So be prepared…check out your sub-pump systems and make sure they are operational. And with the fluctuation in the temperatures, there is the potential for a flash freeze over, teetering on the edge of being cold enough to re-freeze on the roadways, causing slick conditions. Recapping, and most importantly, don’t drive through standing water, and as the saying goes….”turn around, don’t drown”.
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