Weekend warm-up could bring flooding, potholes

A quick warmup of temperatures this weekend could cause new problems in Elkhart County.
Posted on Jan. 7, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 7, 2014 at 12:53 p.m.

ELKHART — A meteorological meltdown is in the forecast and could bring with it some flooding and a good chance of another round of potholes.

After an abundance of snow and arctic temperatures, things will change drastically when temps in Elkhart County are expected to rebound with weekend highs near 40.

What’s the chance of flooding?

Areas near waterways that often flood will be affected as well as other areas, said Michael Pennington, deputy director of Elkhart County Emergency Management.

“I would imagine, because of the amount of snowfall we’ve had, that there’s going to be other areas that will create some problems,” Pennington said. “There will be cause for concern at some point.”

One factor that can change circumstances is the extent of thaw the ground experiences prior to heavy melting. A gradual thaw would allow for more saturation into the ground and help reduce flooding, Pennington said.

Will the warm-up cause a new round of potholes?

Yes, said Marty Morgan, street commissioner for the city of Elkhart. But Morgan predicts much of the snow and ice will be removed from roads, so there won’t be that much moisture seeping into the asphalt cracks and re-freezing.

How bad will it be?

Morgan predicts old potholes recently filled with patch material will be break open again, but doesn’t think the weekend weather will open the door for a new wave of original potholes.

Is there are bright side to warming temps?

Yes, road salt is more effective with temperatures above zero, he said.

What’s the rest of the week look like, weather-wise?

Tuesday, Jan. 7, will be the final day of a two-day blast of extreme cold, according to AccuWeather.com.

Tuesday’s temperatures will hang around 2 through the night, with wind chills making it feel like minus-12.

Wednesday will be part of a warm up that will continue gradually until Saturday. Wednesday’s high is expected to be 18 and the low will fall to 8.

Look for highs of 27 on Thursday, 36 on Friday and 40 on Saturday and Sunday.

There’s a slight chance of snow Wednesday and Thursday, but dry Friday and Saturday.

Highs early next week will be near freezing.

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