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St. Joseph County authorities say they have sandbags on hand – and hope they won’t need them – as the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl hits Tuesday and Wednesday, posing a potential risk of flooding.

The two to four inches of rain forecast over a 12-hour period is expected to cause flooding in low-lying areas that are normally prone to flooding, WNDU meteorologist Jack Van Meter said Tuesday.

In fact, he said, the National Weather Service has issued a flood warning until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

July 8, 2024: Beryl could bring downpours of rain to the South Bend area on Tuesday and Wednesday, with possible flooding.

Major rivers such as the St. Joseph River and the Elkhart River can be prone to flooding, especially in urban areas, although it is not necessarily severe. However, Baugo Creek and Juday Creek overflow their banks during heavy rain.

The director of the county’s civil protection agency, Al Kirsits, said his agency had informed fire departments in the region that sandbags were available and volunteers were ready to help fill them – if they were needed. At the county commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, he said he had asked fire departments to inform the EMA of any street flooding.

Van Meter said the fast-moving weather system’s main high-pressure area was in southern Illinois late Tuesday morning.

“This weather system is almost the size of a state,” he said.

Light to moderate rain is expected in the region Tuesday afternoon and evening, Van Meter said, with the heaviest rain expected to occur between midnight and 9 or 10 a.m. Wednesday, after which the rain will turn to light rain through the evening.

There could also be strong wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour Wednesday morning, according to WNDU.

South Bend Tribune reporter Joseph Dits can be reached at 574-235-6158 or [email protected].