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March roars into Indiana, bringing up to 10 inches of snow, threat of flooding

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INDIANAPOLIS — March roared into Indiana on Sunday, dumping 8 inches or more of snow in some areas and bringing a threat of possible flooding early this week because of expected rain and snow melt.

The National Weather Service said temperatures are expected to soar into the mid- to upper 40s on Tuesday in central Indiana, when heavy rainfall is expected.

"It's going to be a mess with those temperatures," weather service meteorologist Tara Dudzik said.

Indianapolis normally gets 2.6 inches of snow in March. It surpassed that mark in a matter of hours Sunday and set a record for snowfall on March 1 with 5.9 inches, breaking the mark of 5.5 inches set in 1963. The weather service reports the city received 2 inches of snow Saturday, giving Indianapolis a total of 7.9 inches of snow from the storm. Because of the heavy snowfall, the city activated crews of private contractors to plow residential streets.

The rest of central Indiana was also digging out Sunday from the storm, which dumped 10 inches of snow in Frankfort; 8.5 inches of snow in Greenfield, McCordsville and Greentown; and 8 inches in Hartford City, Fairmount and Cumberland.

State police said they responded to more than 600 weather-related calls between Saturday and Sunday afternoon, including about 250 crashes, more than 235 vehicles that slid off the road and more than 135 calls from motorists with traffic- or weather-related problems.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security reported that more than 65 counties issued some type of travel advisory Sunday because of road conditions. Many churches canceled services Sunday and the Vigo County School Corp. in western Indiana canceled school for Monday.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is warning people with property in flood-prone areas to remain alert in the coming days.

The weather service says heavy rainfall is possible Tuesday afternoon and night in Indiana and combined with melting snow could lead to flooding in low lying areas and along streams and creeks. The weather service says the rain could also cause ice jams.

Homeland Security officials say homeowners should consider clearing nearby storm drains, saying it could help water move away from properties, lessening the potential for flooding in urban areas. They also recommend having a disaster kit ready if evacuation is necessary.

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