As winter relaxed its grip and we started to finally see glimmers of the ground again, Chuck Vandewielle was chipping away outside his Mishawaka home at what could be a potential problem with this mid-winter thaw.
"I’m trying to make a little ditch here to get rid of the water that’s sitting around,” he said.
It’s just what South Bend police are asking residents to do – clear out snow-covered street drains so they don’t cause flooding.
"Try to clear out as much as [you] can,” said Capt. Phil Trent. “If not, there’s a good chance the catch basin and gutter area, intersections, and streets will flood.”
Trent said clearing drains would also prevent flood water from turning into black ice as it freezes overnight.
To prevent flooding in your home, experts suggest checking to make sure your sump pump is working properly and, if you’re safely able to inspect the outside of your home, make sure down spouts are clear of debris so the water can drain away from your home as far as possible.
Chuck Vandiewille said he hopes the worst of winter’s freeze-thaw cycle is behind us.
"I sure hope so,” he said. “I know I’m getting tired of it!”