The City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County Indiana are experiencing what is called a “100 year rain.” As of 10 a.m, Evansville Regional Airport had received a record-breaking 6.52 inches of rain. The single greatest rainfall on record for Evansville was 6.5 inches, set on Oct. 6, 1910. The Ohio River is at 37 feet and rising. It is expected to crest at 43 feet on Monday.

The Water and Sewer Utility had its three vacuum trucks removing water from areas around the City all night long. Crews responded to 147 flood calls; 29 were for storm water in a basement or a home, the remaining 20 were because of sewage backups. A majority of the backups were caused by sump pumps that failed because they couldn’t keep up with the rainfall. This is also a good reminder to check back flow valves to see if they are functioning properly. Back flow valves are required by ordinance to stop the flow of storm water and sanitary water back into homes.

The most stagnant water is on the far Southeast Side, where there are no inlets. Rainwater there is moving through the ditches, but it is a slow process due to the record breaking rainfall. At this point, all inlets are capable of handling the extra rainfall. It is important that residents do their part in these rain situations by remembering to clean debris out of storm water drains and inlets so there isn’t any backup.

As of noon today, Street Maintenance reports that the water is swiftly receding and the major streets are clear. The State Hospital Lakes and Indian Woods Lakes are also receding and have contained rain runoff from the adjacent areas. Street flooding problems in the City can be called in to Street Maintenance at 435-6000, and in the county, 435-5777.

The City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County remain under a “local disaster emergency” (the declaration was made at 11 p.m. Tuesday). This declaration may be lifted later this afternoon. The determination will be made by the Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the Mayor and County Commissioners.

Right now, the County reports more than two dozen roads are closed. In the City, the only road closed at this time is Waterworks Road, starting at the point where it meets Riverside Drive. Inland Marina is also closed due to the high river level. Roads may be temporarily closed if water is being pumped out to protect workers in the area. At least 45 people have come to the Emergency Management Agency office or City Street Maintenance to pick up sandbags to prevent water from coming on to their property.

It’s important to remember that there is an ordinance in place which prohibits vehicles from driving around or past barricades unless they are authorized to do so. Authorized vehicles must drive at a slow rate of speed to create minimal or no wake. Violating this ordinance can result in a $500 fine. If the violation results in physical injury to a person or property, the fine is $1,000.

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