As snow melts and rain moves in, forecasters say be prepared for flooding

With temperatures on the rise and heavy rains expected over the weekend, forecasters warn river flooding could happen Saturday and Sunday as about three inches of rain is expected. 

For perspective, about one inch of rain equals about 10 inches of snow. That means, if it were cold enough, we could have been getting 30 inches of snow. 

Instead, it’s coming down as rain, falling on frozen ground covered in snow, which may cause some usual winter issues this weekend.

Here are some tips to help you protect your belongings and your loved ones.

#1) Know your risk of flooding.

People living in flat and low-laying areas should already know to be especially vigilant. 

But there are other issues to pay attention to, like whether you live near a river or creek.

Residents of the Penguin Condominiums in Coventry Township experienced this first-hand in July. A nearby creek was unable to retain the rain waters, which then pushed water into several basements and backyards. 
“The first month or two after the actual flood, I would always be staring out my window like ,'Oh my God is it going to flood?' I'd call my neighbor because he's my friend also and be like, 'John do you think it's going to flood?  Should I take my car and put it on the hill,” said Jessica Merkle. 
Akron's Deputy Director of Public Service Phil Montgomery says it's a problem city officials are monitoring.
"With the grounds being flooded and the sewer inlets being frozen over, the water has nowhere to go but to the river so the river has a higher susceptibility to flood."
When a river or creek floods, Montgomery explains, the overflow can go into the streets where it will ice over when temperatures drop below freezing.
#2) Pull your important things off the ground.

As we approach the last weekend before the Christmas holiday, many of us have expensive presents spread out around the tree. Maybe a few are hidden all over the house. In the case of 

It may not be that common but at least this time, Merkle says she’ll be prepared. 

Her basement is still moist from the July flood so she’s been keeping all of her important items upstairs since. Montgomery said that’s the best thing homeowners in these areas can do.

“It's just really being aware of your situation and if you know you're going to flood a lot, try to get your property and materials up off the ground,” he said.

#3) Keep it clean.

You can do yourself, your neighbors and your local government a big favor, Montgomery says.

Just clear the snow and ice off any sewer inlets near your property. And be sure to get those leaves, too.

That's one way to water isn’t kept from going through.

Montgomery said Akron’s sewer system can normally handle three inches of rain but, as he reminds us: “You just really can't predict what mother nature is going to throw at you but when you see cars that are, you know, up to the windshield in water, you can be in awe of what nature can do to you.”

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