Rain, but no flooding yet in Fox Valley
By Steve Lord email@example.com February 20, 2014 10:10AM
Updated: February 24, 2014 3:17PM
There was plenty of rain in the Fox Valley Thursday, but flooding was not as bad as expected.
In part, the heavy snow cover and still frozen ground kept the snow from completely thawing, despite the rain.
But there still was plenty of standing water, especially on side streets, and especially in places where snow and ice still blocked street drains. And a flood watch remained intact for many western suburban towns into Thursday night.
Many municipalities, such as Geneva, sent out advisories to residents asking them to look for blocked drains.
“The Public Works Department has sent out crews ... to clear storm drains of snow and ice,” the Geneva advisory said. “However, crews will not be able to clear every drain before the forecasted rain reaches our area. Crews also have been hauling large snow piles away from the downtown and cul-de-sacs.”
Towns also reminded their citizens to keep downspouts clear, and make sure sump pumps are ice free and clear of restrictions and obstructions.
The higher temperatures, combined with the rain on snow, created another natural hazard, fog. In some places, temperatures got into the high 40s or low 50s, creating fog over the snow that caused low visibility.
A high wind warning also was in effect in the area Thursday evening, boasting gusts of up to 60 mph.
The weather in the Fox Valley is still something to keep an eye on, experts said.
“The combination of rainfall and snow that’s on the ground right now that will be melting will lead to some pretty big runoff in the area because the ground is frozen and the water will have nowhere to go,” said meteorologist Kevin Birk of the National Weather Service.
National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Castro said the winds will remain strong on Friday morning and throughout the day. Friday will reach a high of around freezing, ahead of a cold weekend.