Flooding concerns in Hamilton County shuts parks down

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – Looks like the first few days of May are bringing more rain showers than actual flowers.

So far, rain totals for spring of 2019 are running more than 2 inches above average.

Hamilton County Parks and Recreation had to close several of their parks.

Hamilton County Parks and Rec Director Allen Patterson says this spring has been very wet and has impacted them a great deal.

This week, several Hamilton County Parks and Recreation trails were taken out, debris washed up, and several areas were left muddy after water levels increased at the White River.

"There are still areas that could still be under water that we haven't even gotten to yet," Patterson said.

"River flooding really starts to impact a lot of the low-lying areas. We see a lot of agriculture flooding in Hamilton County, but we also see low-lying neighborhoods that can also be impacted by flooding," Hamilton County EMA Executive Director Shane Booker said.

So far, Hamilton County hasn't seen any homes impacted by river flooding, but with more rain coming in, flash flooding is still a concern.

"A lot of times this is when we see intersections that become filled with water where the storm sewers can't keep up," said Booker.

Booker says homeowners should protect their homes from flooding.

"Putting in a French drain around that garage, putting in some higher window wells, or something to help keep the water out so you're not trying to fight that water when it becomes so short notice," Booker said.

Hamilton County Parks officials say 70% of their 1600 acres are prone to flooding.

They've come to live with it but have had to make adjustments.

"We've been able to hard surface, pave our roads, and put concrete pads in for all our camping sites. It allows us to clean everything up and get everything open quicker," said Patterson.

Patterson says they will keep a close eye on Mother Nature, and they’re hoping to re-open parks on Friday if things dry out.

Hamilton County EMA wants to remind folks to stay away from the White River as it rises. The high water will make the currents dangerous.

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