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Rain tomorrow raises flooding fears

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The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Evanston in effect from late tonight through Thursday afternoon.

With warm temperatures melting our heavy cover of snow, but the ground still frozen, the weather service says the rainfall expected late tonight and tomorrow — which could range from a half inch to an inch-and-a-half creates "an elevated risk of flooding."

Snow-blocked storm drains will also lead to ponding and standing water, the weather service says, posing a hazard to travel.

There might be a sewer grate under there somewhere.


Update 1:15 p.m.: Evanston's Utilities Department is asking residents to clear snow, ice and debris from drains surrounding their homes, including those at the bottom of exterior stairwells, in front of garages and window wells. If your window well does not have a drain, use weather guards to keep water out.

If you've been experienced flooding before, the department says, you should. It is important to unplug all electronics from wall outlets and power strips before water enters a home. If not, residents risk being electrocuted by the still water in their home. Additionally, remove all items from the floor to avoid water damage. 

If water has seeped into your home in the past, make sure your sump pumps are working properly. Fill the pump pit with water to ensure it is properly discharged.

The City expects street flooding to occur. As a result, residents are advised not to park over street drains. Streets slope to where the drains are located, and if they are blocked by snow, ice or debris the street will start to pond. The deepest point of the ponding water will be where the drainage structure is located.

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