Residents in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison Wisconsin areas are being warned that localized flooding could be a concern this week. There are winter storms moving into the region which are expected to drop up to 2 inches of rain on Chicago. Coupled with temperatures hovering well above the freezing mark, the falling rain will turn the snow on the ground into more water to cause possible flooding. How much flooding will occur is dependent upon how frozen the ground is below the snow. The National Weather Service said Sunday that the frost is between 6 and 10 inches deep across the Chicago area. If the ground does not thaw much, the agency believes that there will be a significant amount of frozen ground to cause water run-off in low-lying areas which could result in flooding.
On Sunday, residents of Chicago endured a wet and soggy day. The temperatures on Sunday were hovering in the high 40s, to give those in the Windy City hopes of an early spring. However, city and county officials were more focused on the possibility of flooding as the warm temperatures were expected to melt the area snow which could very well flood some parts of the greater metropolitan area. While Chicago was in the firing lines, Wisconsin residents were busy enduring the second day of rain. The combination of some late season snow and a full day of rain showers proved to be problematic for sump pumps and residents with other foundation issues at their properties.
There were several flood advisories in effect across the Chicago region over the weekend. There also were flood warnings and watches issued near rivers and streams that are rising due to excessive snow melt and steadily falling rain. The ground in the area is frozen just below the surface so most of the rain is running off into drainage systems which are filling rapidly.
The Midwest has been hit by several winter storms during the past couple of weeks following what was a very uneventful winter. This late-season storm activity has prompted officials in several Midwestern states to ask their residents to review whether they may need flood insurance for their homes. People are being reminded that flood damage isn’t covered in standard homeowner’s insurance but rather is a special policy one must purchase extra. People are also being reminded that flood insurance has a 30-day period after purchase before it goes into effect. Therefore, if this insurance is needed, now’s the time to purchase it ahead of the spring season which typically brings with it flooding.