Columbus officials closed two city parks and some sections of the city’s People Trails after another inch of rain caused widespread flooding.
By mid-morning Friday, Mill Race and Noblitt parks near downtown Columbus were closed and parks officials continued to monitor river levels throughout the city to determine if more barricades were needed in other areas.
A flood warning remains in effect this morning for Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson and Jennings counties, with another inch — and possibly up to 3 more inches — of rain possible through today, according to the National Weather Service.
Much of central and southern Indiana received 2 to 4 inches of rain since Wednesday, the weather service said.
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A flood warning for the Flatrock River was issued Friday afternoon to continue through Sunday afternoon. At mid-day Friday, the river was at 10.7 feet, with flood stage at 11 feet. The National Weather Service said minor flooding is forecast and the river was forecast to rise to 13.3 feet by this morning.
The Driftwood River near Edinburgh also was under a flood warning with water levels at 12.5 feet — above the 11-foot flood stage. Minor flooding was occurring Friday and moderate flooding was forecast for today, with the Driftwood rising to near 15.2 feet by tonight. The river is forecast to fall below flood stage early Tuesday.
Driftwood is causing extensive flooding in northern Bartholomew County near the Double Y Saddle Club area, with water covering County Road 950N.
The weather service said County Road 330W is flooded south of Ohio Ridge Road and County Road 500N west of 250W is also flooded. The Lowell Public Access site is completely flooded and access to seasonal homes along County Road 330W and County Road 325W is being affected by high water.
The East Fork White River through Columbus also has a flood warning through Monday afternoon, reported at 7.7 feet at mid-day Friday, with flood stage at 9 feet. The weather service said the East Fork White River will rise to near 12.1 feet by Saturday afternoon and then begin receding. However, there is extensive flooding in agriculture areas near the river and downstream, and water is beginning to cover County Road 325W south of Lowell Road.
The People Trail near Northbrook, along Jonathan Moore Pike and in the trail tunnels under Interstate 65 west of Columbus, were all closed Friday due to flooding, said Casey Ritz, director of Columbus park operations.
Bartholomew County Highway Department had placed high-water signs Friday at one location, Reservoir Street in Taylorsville, but was anticipating the next county road to experience flooding would be County Road 800S.
Bartholomew County Emergency Management Director Shannan Hinton said road closings were falling in line in a pattern that county officials have seen before, as the low-lying areas start becoming water-covered as the ground reaches its saturation point.
Roads affected by high water and barricaded so far included:
County Road 400N at Tinkey Bridge is closed
County Road 900N at County Road 200W has water flowing over the roadway and is impassable
County Road 650N at Reservoir Street in Taylorsville has high water.
County Road West 400N to East 400N from U.S. 31 North to North Riverside Drive
County Road 400W south of County Road 850S
County Road 850S near the 400W area.
Hinton said weather forecasters were predicting that the rain would taper off into Friday evening, which could alleviate some of the flooding over the weekend.
“At this point, we’re not anticipating anything worse than what we usually have with minor flooding,” she said.
County Engineer Danny Hollander said county crews were working on clearing out some culverts that were filling with water on Friday, and clearing a few trees off of roads.
County highway crews and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies were being sent out to check flooding reports during the day Friday and barricading off areas where motorists might encounter high water.