Flooding returns to the West Lakes

There is a flood warning along the river near Cosperville until further notice.

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 10:21 PM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 9:46 AM

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT) - The water is rising along the north branch of the Elkhart River.

There is a flood warning along the river near Cosperville until further notice.

As of Wednesday evening, the river was at 6.7 feet, in the minor flood stage.

The river is expected to crest Thursday afternoon at 7.3 feet, in the moderate flood stage.

For people living on the West Lakes, it is a reminder of the historic flooding that occurred last summer.

"We'll see what happens. We'll keep my fingers crossed," said Steve McParlan.

McParlan has lived on Waldron Lake Drive for about two years.

Seeing the water across Waldron Lake Drive brings back memories he doesn't want to re-live.

"As fast as the water is coming up right now due to all the rain that we've had I'm real leery on how far it's going to come up," McParlan said.

The West Lakes are flooding because the water up the watershed is coming in faster than normal. The ground is frozen and not absorbing the water.

McParlan isn't taking any chances with the flooding this year; he already moved his van to the end of the road so it won't get stuck.

"I'm definitely concerned. It usually takes a couple days for it to peak out and the water came up really fast," McParlan told WFFT.

He noted it could be a lot worse.

McParlan was one of hundreds of people who helped clear more than 200 trees from the Elkhart River over the summer as part of an effort to help prevent catastrophic flooding along the West Lakes.

"The area that we cleaned out was a mess. There was a lot of logs across that were like dams, not allowing the water to flow," McParlan added.

Meanwhile, the Sylvan Lake Dam is at a Level 3 "watch status." Noble County Emergency Management Director Michael Newton said this just means officials are keeping a closer eye on the dam.

"We're getting a lot of water is what it's saying," said Newton. "At this time at that level, we start letting water over the second spillway."

A simular situation occurred at the dam last year during the flooding at the West Lakes.

"I'm hoping that doesn't happen. I'm hoping we get to enjoy the summer this year," McParlan said.

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