Isaac's path, effect on region this weekend still uncertain

2012-08-31T20:00:00Z 2012-09-01T23:58:05Z Isaac's path, effect on region this weekend still uncertainThe Associated Press The Associated Press
August 31, 2012 8:00 pm  • 

The remnants of what is now Tropical Depression Isaac will hit Northwest Indiana and Chicago this weekend, but where the most intense storms will occur is anyone's guess.

The National Weather Service continued its hazardous weather outlook alert for the weekend, predicting rain would begin overnight Friday and continue throughout the weekend.

The heaviest rain is predicted south of Interstate 80. Some areas could see as much as 3 to 5 inches of rain overnight. However, forecasters said uncertainty remains as to where the line will be drawn between heavy, potentially flood-causing rains and less intense storms.

A chance of rain and thunderstorms is predicted throughout the holiday weekend, with the greater possibility for precipitation in the southern part of the region.

That has some groups south of Northwest Indiana canceling activities for the Labor Day weekend. There have been no announcements of local events being canceled because of the forecast.

WISH-TV reported organizers canceled the Central Indiana Labor Council's annual Labor Day event planned for Saturday in Indianapolis due to weather concerns. The city's Miracle Mile Parade and America We Remember events have also been canceled.

West Lafayette has canceled the north-central Indiana city's Global Fest, which had been scheduled for Saturday. Mayor John Dennis said the festival was canceled because of concerns about rain, potential storms and high winds as Isaac's remnants swirl across the state.

About 120 of the 400 reservations for campsites at Patoka Lake in southern Indiana had been cancelled, said Nick Werner, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

In Indianapolis, hundreds of residents have gotten sandbags to protect their property from heavy rains expected this weekend.

Department of Public Works supervisor Stephen Brown said cars began lining up for sandbags shortly after a lot opened at 7 a.m. Friday. The line stretched at least 100 deep by mid-day, and some drivers waited more than 90 minutes.

Many residents said they are trying to protect property in flood-prone areas.

In Champaign, Ill., Thomas Maton said a little downpour was nothing for a die-hard fan like himself. He planned to put his wallet and cellphone in plastic bags and wear clothes he doesn't mind getting soaked for the Illini opener Saturday against Western Michigan. He figured he's sat through worse, including games in freezing temperatures.

"There's a certain point in your mind where you cross a line, 'We're stepping out of sanity here,'" Maton said. "But it's like, what the heck, it's two to three hours."

Illini football was almost certain to go on as scheduled, university sports information director Kent Brown said. The school has evacuation plans for lightning and severe winds, but otherwise the new artificial turf at Memorial Stadium should be able to handle the water, he said.

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