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UPDATE: Flood Watch Issued Tuesday Afternoon; Winter Weather Comes Wednesday

Flooding rains are headed our way, changing to snow, so the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch this afternoon until later tonight, and a Winter Weather Advisory starting 6 a.m. Wednesday.

(This was updated to reflect the new advisory from the National Weather Service)

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from 3 p.m. until later Tuesday night for Waukesha, Milwaukee, Rock, Walworth, Racine and Kenosha counties.

Communities in southeastern Wisconsin saw 1/2- to 1-inch of rain fall overnight into Tuesday, with some areas seeing higher rain totals. Additional rain is expected this afternoon and ice jams could cause flooding.

While the possible two inches of rain that could fall today isn't a ton of water, rapid runoff is expected because the ground is frozen and saturated. Some larger rivers can handle this rainfall, but small to medium rivers and streams will likely flood.

This could cause flooding on some roads. 

Progressive Insurance has some safety tips for driving in flooded conditions:

  • Don't drive through standing water. Cars can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water.
  • Drive slowly and steadily through the water.
  • If your vehicle stalls in water and you can't restart it (and restarting could cause irreperable damage to your engine), abandon it for higher ground.

If you don't like the rain, oh fan of winter, don't worry. The storm system causing the flooding will also bring a fair dose of snow to the area. Shortly after the flood advisory expires, a Winter Weather Advisory begins Wednesday morning at 6 a.m.

Northern portions of our area will see the highest snow totals, with totals decreasing the further south and east. Total accumulations during the advisory, which ends on Wednesday at 9 p.m., should fall between 3 and 6 inches.

As the day goes on Wednesday winds will also increase 15 to 25 mph creating blowing and drifting and driving wind chills down again to dangerous levels into Thursday.

Bob McBride January 29, 2013 at 10:52 PM
I've rolled up my pants legs so I'm all set here.
michelle January 30, 2013 at 02:03 AM
I don't mind on how many inches of snow we get cause where I live. I don't have to shovel.
Go Dukes January 30, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I couldn't agree with you more. I have cleared out some of the twigs, leaves, and debris at the storm grate closest to our house before. Bay Leaves has suggested that residents "Adopt a Hydrant" , and to remove the snow at the base of the Hydrants. What about "Adopt a Storm Grate" ? I certainly appreciate the work that DPW does in the fall regarding leaf pick up, but they should stick to the designated dates. Yes, I understand that trees might drop their leaves earlier or later depending upon rainfall, summer/fall temps., etc. and pickup times might have to be adjusted. Whenever these large piles of leaves sit in the street waiting to be picked up and it rains, two major things occur - 1) some of these leaves wash into the storm grate, causing the potential for more clogging and backup both at and below street level - then DPW has to send equipment and crews $$$ to unclog them, and 2) these leaf piles also prevent some of the water from draining into the storm grate. If/when this occurs (especially during freeze and thaw temperatures) the water can "creep" into cracks, causing further damage $$$ to our roads, curbs, approaches to our driveways, etc. - "expansion and contraction". It's not just the snow plows that can damage our roads. Not to mention how frustrating it is when I see DPW mowing crews and lawn service companies blowing grass and debris into the street. This also drains and washes into the storm sewer system. I think we have >2 Engineers on the WFB staff??
Bob McBride January 30, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Good points all the way around. As one of two or three folks who regularly monitor the sewer grates on the block during rain, one other thing I've noticed is that the method of removing leaves used on most streets (Jeep with a plow-like brush on the front of it creating large piles) tends to stuff leaves into the sewer grates and down into the sewers.

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