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Flooding not expected to be major factor in area

Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Local city and county officials are not overly concerned about possible flooding after this week’s heavy snowfall.

The National Weather Service is projecting higher temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s for the next few days, as well as rain today and Sunday.

Gilbert Sebenste, the staff meteorologist at Northern Illinois University, said DeKalb County is likely to get as much as an inch of rain this weekend.

Sebenste said there could be some minor flooding, particularly in basements that are prone to seepage or on low-lying roads.

“This will be mostly a minor event for most people,” Sebenste said.

DeKalb streets chief Mark Espy said he would be worried if the area was projected to get four or five inches of rain.

But from what he’s heard, that’s not the case this weekend.

“I don’t really have any major concerns at this point,” Espy said.

Sebenste expressed similar sentiments in regards to the projected rainfall.

“For the most part, this should not be a big deal unless we get significantly more than an inch of rain,” Sebenste said. “It does not look like that is the case.”

County Engineer Nathan Schwartz said his concern would stem from snow and ice blocking storm drains along the county’s roadways, causing them to flood.

“We monitor county highways for areas with potential flooding,” Schwartz said. “We make sure the holes are cleaned out adequately.”

Schwartz added that sheriff’s deputies also provide an extra set of eyes for him.

Flooding has been a major issue for the Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park in Sycamore; the park has been the site of two major floods in the past six years.

The county received a $4.2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to relocate the park’s residents and raze the park.

Schwartz said this weekend’s forecast should not cause flooding for the 129-unit park.

“As far as Evergreen Village goes, I think it would take a lot of hot weather and a significant amount of rain to cause significant amount of flooding in that area,” Schwartz said. “I don’t think the forecast has that in store for us.”

Schwartz still warned drivers to be aware of standing water on the roadways.

“If the water is completely over the roadway, do not enter that water,” Schwartz said. “You don’t know how deep that is.”

Schwartz said vehicles could stall in the water, or if the water is high and/or fast enough, the car could be washed off the road.

“You really have to be prepared for anything,” Schwartz said. “Steer clear if you can’t see the road.”

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