MOUNT VERNON — As winter officially arrives today, it appears to be bringing with it heavy rain rather than heavy snow.
According to the National Weather Service out of Cleveland, Knox County could get from 2 to 4 inches of rain this weekend, which is enough to bring the threat of flash floods on small creeks and streams and in urban areas. There is also the possibility of some river flooding, especially in areas where heavier rains occur.
Flooding is a possibility across a large portion of Northern Ohio, but only Southeastern Ohio is outside the possible flood area on the Weather Service maps. Localized flooding is considered a possibility today, with widespread flooding or river flooding possible Sunday.
The heaviest rains are expected to start this evening and extend into Sunday morning.
Knox County Emergency Management Director Mark Maxwell said Friday afternoon that the Weather Service hasn’t been able to predict exactly what will develop.
Three models they have sent out show the possibilities. One shows areas of heavy rain passing through the Knox County area, another shows it passing to the north and west, and a third shows the rain as a more spread-out event.
Although flash flooding is possible in small streams, Maxwell said we are helped by the fact that much of the snow is already melting and will have headed downstream before the heavy rains get here, and also, the ground is not yet frozen solid and so it should be able to absorb more water than if it was frozen.
The Weather Service says most counties in the affected area have a high potential for flooding and some rivers could reach moderate to major levels.
Maxwell said people should watch out for high water any place there has been water on the past, and if they live in an area that has experienced flooding before, they should pay close attention to weather reports and what is happening in their area.
Ice should not be a problem anywhere in Central Ohio, but might not be out of the question for rivers entering Lake Erie.
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