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Southsider2k12
post Sep 13 2008, 03:21 PM
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We went out to Garwood today, and driving along Highway 20, there are significants parts of it underwater. Behind the Big Lots building, where the marshland is, that has overflown and is covering a lane to a lane and a half of the road, and it is still raining. Going along 20, there are lots of parts of Evergreen Plaza and Trail Creek that are flooding as well. Hopefully everyone out there is OK!
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mcstumper
post Sep 14 2008, 09:34 AM
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Aarrgh. I'm out of town on business and am missing all of this. Please post updates. The News-Dispatch website is useless. Looks like the Friday-Saturday rain total in South Bend was the most ever in a 24 hour period at 7.09 inches, which beat the old record by two and half inches. Hope everyone and their basements are dry. Stay safe.


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JHeath
post Sep 14 2008, 09:38 AM
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They actually closed sections of I-94 yesterday near the MC exits. Portions were completely flooded. Smae thing might happen today on eastbound 20, just east of 421. The flooding there extends across both lanes.

Hope our winter isn't this bad. Anyone know the rain to snow conversions?
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Dave
post Sep 14 2008, 09:51 AM
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QUOTE(JHeath @ Sep 14 2008, 10:38 AM) *


Hope our winter isn't this bad. Anyone know the rain to snow conversions?


IIRC, one inch of rain equals 6 to 10 inches of snow, depending on the snow (heavy and wet vs. dry and powdery).

The weather station at The Beacher shows 4.83 inches for September 13 and 1.67 inches for the day today so far, for 6.5 inches. If this was snow, think at least 3 feet, possibly as much as 5 feet.

That kind of excitement I don't need.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Sep 14 2008, 10:11 AM
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The rain gauge outside my window (see my photo with the U of M sparrow in the MC Photos thread) has overflowed; its measured capacity is 6 inches, but the top part probably yields another inch.



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Southsider2k12
post Sep 14 2008, 10:33 AM
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QUOTE(Dave @ Sep 14 2008, 10:51 AM) *

IIRC, one inch of rain equals 6 to 10 inches of snow, depending on the snow (heavy and wet vs. dry and powdery).

The weather station at The Beacher shows 4.83 inches for September 13 and 1.67 inches for the day today so far, for 6.5 inches. If this was snow, think at least 3 feet, possibly as much as 5 feet.

That kind of excitement I don't need.


Tempature is a big factor in now heavy snow is. The stuff that falls at 32 degrees is the stuff that is about 10-12 inches per inch of water. The stuff that falls at 20 degrees is more along the 5:1 ratio.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Sep 15 2008, 10:33 AM
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This is the Creek in the new park by Krueger Jr Hi. The flow in the following picture is from left to right around the point where these guys are standing. Some ditch flows out of the picture to the point. This is about ΒΌ mile upstream from the bridge on Springland Avenue.

Sunday, September 14, 2008
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The following photograph is looking upstream from the point described above.

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This area looked like this on July 26, 2008:

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Southsider2k12
post Sep 15 2008, 12:29 PM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...amp;TM=52166.55

QUOTE
DOWNPOUR WILL CONTINUE TODAY

Deborah Sederberg
The News-Dispatch

MICHIGAN CITY - Some areas of the city on Saturday had rainfall approaching the level of a 100-year storm, which is weather talk for the kind of weather a community might expect only every 100 years.

"We have rain gauges in various parts of the city," said Al Walus, Michigan City Sanitary District general superintendent. "In Washington Park, we had about 3 inches of rain, but near (Michigan City High School), we had about 5 inches.

"We've had a pretty significant rainfall."

Crews were responding to reports of standing water and basement flooding Saturday morning, Walus said, and they were still working into the night.

Many calls naturally came from the area south of U.S. 20, where the most rain fell.

Reports of overflowing ditches and catch basins plugged with leaves and other debris were frequent. Some residents, however, ended up with storm water and/or sanitary sewage in their basements. A storm of this magnitude can overwhelm the treatment plant, Walus said.

According to Indiana State Police, a portion of westbound Interstate 94 between Michigan City and Chesterton was closed because of flooding. Traffic was diverted to U.S. 20. The highway itself, was flooding in certain areas, especially near Evergreen Plaza, which also is near the high school: the site of the most significant rainfall.

Don't look for much relief today, said Sara Weisser, a meteorologist with the Syracuse, Ind., office of the National Weather Service.

"There likely will be more flooding in your area," she said. "We'll see the remnants of Hurricane Ike on Sunday."

Weisser expected the rain to end by Monday.

"This is the most rain we've had for quite a while," she added. "We're seeing small stream flooding and standing water."

According to the U.S. Geological Service measure of Trail Creek at the Springland Avenue bridge, the creek depth usually is about 2 feet, but by mid-morning Saturday, it was 10 feet. Later Saturday, it peaked at 11 1/2 feet.

Contact Deborah Sederberg at dsederberg@thenewsdispatch.com.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 15 2008, 12:32 PM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...ArticleID=17368

QUOTE
Two men drown while saving child in Chesterton
Rain, flooding cause problems here as well

Weekend rains and flooding - remnants of Hurricane Ike - turned tragic Sunday as two men drowned in Chesterton while saving a child.

Gene Davis, Indiana Department of Natural Resources law-enforcement officer, and Lt. John Jarka of the Chesterton Fire Department confirmed the report. Jarka could not release the victims' names, but said one was in his 40s and the other in his 70s.

"We initially responded to a report of a child in the water," Jarka said. He believes the men entered the water in the Pope-O'Connor Ditch, which feeds into Coffee Creek, to rescue a 13-year-old child. The incident occurred just behind the Westchester South subdivision, which is east of Fifth Street in Chesterton. Jarka said he was told the child was swept under Olivia Court there, through a metal tube that runs under the street. At that point, the child was out of the water, but the men drowned.

Dive teams from Chesterton, Porter, Burns Harbor and the DNR were at the scene and assisted with removing the men from the water.

Locally, some homes had flooded basements, some trees were uprooted and some roads were closed due to flooding, but John Jones, Michigan City director of emergency management, said no one was injured due to flooding.

Al Walus, Sanitary District general superintendent, said, "We made quite a bit of progress yesterday, but today, we had more rain."

Crews responded to many calls about water in basements, and Sanitary District crews worked with the street department and Michigan City Police Department officers to monitor roads and close them when that became necessary to keep people safe.

The area had a lot of rain, Walus said. In fact, this weekend saw record levels. Between midnight Saturday and 11:59 p.m. Saturday, the rain gauge at Michigan City High School measured 5.94 inches. Between midnight Sunday and about 5 p.m. Sunday, the measurement was an additional 3.30 inches. The DNR's 100-year frequency list records record rainfall for the same period of time at 6.3 inches, Walus said.

"That gives us some perspective," he added.

Trail Creek, which normally measures about 2 feet deep at the Springland Avenue bridge, rose to 12 1/2 feet by 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

"In many areas, Trail Creek has very deep banks," Walus added.

But the heavy rain did cause some flooding into lowlands, including the golf course at Pottawattomie Country Club.

Streibel Pond "worked exactly as it is designed to work," Walus said. Water covered most of the interior walking trail by late Sunday afternoon, he added.

The water level was higher than Walus has seen it since the pond went into commission in October 2005.

Although he was aware of no injuries attributed to the storms or flooding, Jones said, "I know some people are living under duress because of flooded basements.

"Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about saturated ground. We aren't seeing much overland flooding. Much of it comes from ground saturation. I've seen some seepage through cracks in basement floors, and that tells us the ground is just saturated."

Crews have been working steadily since early Saturday.

In response to flooding here, the Indiana Department of Transportation on Sunday closed U.S. 20/35 under the Indiana 212 overpass and Indiana 2 at Indiana 39.

Also, at press time, La Porte, South Central and New Prairie schools had called a two-hour delay for classes to begin today.

The National Weather Service, however, is predicting a break in the weather.

"We should be seeing clearing by Monday afternoon or evening and clear for most of the rest of the week," said Sara Weisser, a meteorologist with the Syracuse, Ind. office of the National Weather Service.
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Ang
post Sep 15 2008, 12:43 PM
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HOLY SMOKES!!!! Trail Creek is 12 foot deep?!?!

You guys are getting hammered all right! My prayers are with you guys!


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Southsider2k12
post Sep 15 2008, 12:49 PM
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FYI, for those who haven't seen them Roger has some great pics in the Pictures thread in the City Living section of the board.
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Tim
post Sep 16 2008, 01:35 AM
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Wow - my parents' basement flooded. They live in Edgewood, and that's really rare for their house. Hope everyone's safe!
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 08:18 AM
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More highlights from the Rain of the Century...

-I-65 closed from Remmington (Hwy 24) to Gary.
-I-94 closed from Chesterton to pretty much the IL stateline (Indy Blvd)
-Bishop Ford Freeway closed for 6 miles on the southside
-One mile of South Shore tracks under water in Gary, forcing them to run at 5mph through the area. Most trains 20 minutes late. Water as high as a foot and a half.
-Blue Line closed going to O'Hare
-Edens closed for stretches because of 5+ feet of water in some underpasses.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Sep 16 2008, 08:25 AM
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Let's consider this before paving over the entire part of the county this side of I-94!


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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 10:47 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...amp;TM=45929.32

QUOTE
Tree trunk blocks storm drain

Laurie Wink
The News-Dispatch

MICHIANA SHORES - Michiana Shores Fire Chief Jim Imes on Monday got a close look as what more than 48 hours of rain did to the small lakefront community.

Imes said several streets were flooded, thanks to a tree stump plugging White Ditch, causing water problems for a dozen homes. He said the heavy rain also knocked out phone service in Michiana Shores.

However, Imes credited La Porte County Emergency Management Agency for a rapid response. "They were here within an hour with a backhoe to pull out the debris," Imes said. "The county response has been very good."

Seven ditches flow into White Ditch, which was up to five feet higher than usual, Imes said.

Clerk-Treasurer Steven Millick said the standing water in Michiana Shores was the worst since the early 1990s. He said the town will work with the La Porte County Drainage Board to get larger culverts installed.

Paul Young, director of county emergency management services, anticipated a busy Monday. After stopping by to see the damage and clean-up progress in Michiana Shores, he was heading to Trail Creek, where the ditch running through the town overflowed Sunday.

Trail Creek Clerk-Treasurer Ann Dobbs said, "It was too much rain too fast. We just awarded a contract to widen and deepen the main ditch."

For some residents in Trail Creek, like Larry Weaver, work on that contract can't begin soon enough. On Monday, Weaver said he was upset that the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department wouldn't pump out about 3 feet of water in front of his house and that of a neighbor's, both on Black Oak Drive.

"I called the fire department and Assistant Chief Silcox said he couldn't commit a truck and crew to do that," Weaver said.

Dobbs said town engineer John Doyle and the five council members were out four hours Saturday inspecting the town ditch. She said the town was aware of the flooding problem around Weaver's house, but said there was nothing that could be done. Even if a fire pumper was to begin pumping the water, she said there was nowhere to send where it wouldn't flow right back into the area.

""They're on a cul de sac that's very low. It's been a problem for a long time," said Dobbs.

Dobbs said the town spent $150,000 to address drainage problems last year and just awarded another $110,000 contract three weeks ago. She is anticipating a large turnout at the Trail Creek Town Council meeting at 7 tonight.

"We have a lot of self-appointed engineers," she said.



Contact Laurie Wink at lwink@thenewsdispatch.com.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 10:54 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...ArticleID=17388

QUOTE
Cleaning Up After The '100-Year Storm'

Laurie Wink
The News-Dispatch

Water may rise for a few more days

MICHIGAN CITY - The worst of the storms that lashed La Porte County over the weekend seemed to be over on Monday. But pockets of the city and county continued to deal with the storm's aftermath.

"The sun's out but the water's still rising," said John Jones, Michigan City Emergency Management director. "Ten homes in the city have water in basements, from 2 inches to 5 feet. There continues to be damage reports today."

Jones is recording storm damage information to submit for federal assistance along with the more seriously impacted Porter and Lake counties.

Two workers with Michigan City's sanitary district were on a service call early Monday morning when a cave-in occurred and emergency services were called in for assistance, said Al Walus, Sanitary District general manager. One employee was able to return to work later on Monday, but the other was recovering from unspecified injuries. The names of the employees were not available.

Central Services Superintendent Jim Elwell said crews were out in various parts of the city cleaning up debris Monday. A tree on Greenwood Avenue near Woodland Avenue fell, but Elwell said no other major tree damage was reported. He said high water resulted in the closing of Cleveland Avenue between Timm Court and Kieffer Road.

In Rolling Prairie, the Kankakee Fire Department, assisted by Springfield Township, pumped about 4 inches of water from three businesses on Saturday. After continued heavy rains, runoff caused the Rolling Prairie retention pond to overflow. Firefighters stopped pumping water long enough to allow trains to pass, then resumed pumping. An estimated 3 million gallons of water was pumped over the weekend in Rolling Prairie.

Bob Young, La Porte County highway superintendent, said the water level was OK along the Kankakee River around La Crosse, but the test would come in the next few days. Since three-fourths of the county drains south, Young said it would take several days for all the water to reach that part of the county. He said the city of La Porte had recorded a total of 11 inches of rainfall.

"This is the worst rain event in a short time I've seen in 24 years," Young said. "It's like taking part of Lake Michigan and dumping in on the county. We're just trying to keep roads open as best we can."

The heavy rainfall left water on many state, city and county roads, said Joshua Bingham, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation in La Porte. INDOT has marked these areas with "High Water" signs and urges drivers not to attempt to drive through. According to the National Weather Service, most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Six inches of standing water is enough to cause passenger cars to stall and a foot of water will float many vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District reported that flooding east of the Indiana Toll Road in the Aetna neighborhood in Gary was delaying service.

"We have monitored this situation all day and have seen little improvement due to the high water table in the area," said NICTD general manager Gerald Hanas.

Delays of 15 to 20 minutes were reported for both east and westbound South Shore trains. Trains must travel the half-mile area that's flooded at 5 miles per hour. Hanas said the delays will continue until water levels subside.

The heavy rainfall starting Friday was part of the tropical storm Lowell in the Pacific Ocean, and the storm front that moved in late Saturday into Sunday was the remnant of Hurricane Ike according to Sara Weisser, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Syracuse, Ind. She said the heavy rainfalls are over but flood warnings are in effect in La Porte County until the end of the week. Weisser said area rainfall ranged from 9.8 inches in Michigan City to 11.2 inches in La Porte.



Contact Laurie Wink at lwink@thenewsdispatch.com.

Need Help
Michigan City Emergency Management Director John Jones encourages city residents who have experienced storm damage to file a brief report with his office. To make a report, call 873-1499.

The La Porte County Cooperative Extension Service has a pamphlet, "First Steps to Flood Recovery," that addresses topics such as damaged food, drinking/well water, salvaging keepsakes and getting government and community support. For more information, contact the La Porte County office at (219) 324-9407.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 11:03 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...amp;TM=47368.51

QUOTE
New Durham Estates still underwater

Timothy O'Connor
For The News-Dispatch

WESTVILLE - When the water rose to 4 feet and nearly entered her home, Stacie Schoenfelder moved her grandmother's Shirley Temple doll collection to the highest shelves.

The water never got in, but three days of rain left the 37-year-old New Durham Estates resident surrounded by knee-high water.

"I can kind of relate to how Texas residents were feeling after this one," Schoenfelder said.

She may have gotten the worst of it among her neighbors. When a nearby retention pond and excess rain merged to flood the mobile home park, it was Schoenfelder's home that was closest to the water. Further, her car took in about 6 inches of the murky liquid.

"I moved (the car) over to higher ground Saturday, never imagining it'd get this high," she said.

"I feel like I'm a freak show because everyone keeps on stopping to take photos."

The rain may have stopped, but that doesn't mean the problems are over. It might take days before the waters are pumped out and Schoenfelder only has three days worth of medication left for the back fusion surgery she recently underwent.

"Nobody prepared for anything like this to happen," she said.

Schoenfelder may be segregated by "sea," but even those still on land were trapped by the waters. Because two roads are completely underwater, even those in homes not afflicted by the flood can't exit New Durham Estates.

Some tried to get around this problem by creating an outlet through a 20-foot-long grassy area to a parallel road. A Jeep Grand Cherokee beached in the mud was a symbol of the idea's success. A similar attempt made a street over fared better, but only pick-ups were able to get through.

Most people living in the 50 affected homes will have to wait until the water subsides to leave their homes and that might mean days of missing work or school.

"You just sit here and look stupid," resident Kevin Childress said.

While they wait for the flood to recede, many are trying to figure out how the water got so high. Some think the state diverted overflow from adjacent U.S. 421 into the pond.

"If they would have never done that, the place would never have flooded," Childress said.

When asked, a representative of the Indiana Department of Transportation said road water was redirected to many detention ponds but was unsure if that was true in the New Durham Estates case.

Childress and other homeowners also blamed the park's management for not being prepared.

"(They) should have known this place was going to flood," he said.

Others disagreed.

"The whole throwing of the blame is ridiculous. You can't throw blame on the rain," resident Melissa Westlund said.

Those who manage the park said they were doing what they could, given the situation.

"Over the years, the state highway department reconfigured the intersection at Indiana 2 and U.S. 421 and the excess water flows onto our property," Wendi Earley, park manager, said in an e-mailed statement. "We take a lot of water from the north side of Indiana 2 and there is very little retention for that overflow.

"Unfortunately, when 12 inches of rain falls, there is nowhere for the water to drain. We have met with the state to rectify the drainage problem to no avail and are taking further action."
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 11:09 AM
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And a final piece of perspective... For all practical purposes, we got as much rain as Galveston Texas did over the weekend.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 17 2008, 09:09 AM
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Being on Ohio Street, I am really glad we don't have a basement.

http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...amp;TM=40406.37

QUOTE
The flood of sewage in city neighborhood

Laurie Wink
The News-Dispatch

Ohio St. residents complain about 'disaster' after recent rains.

MICHIGAN CITY - A group of Michigan City residents flooded into City Hall on Tuesday night seeking help from the City Council to tackle problems of water and raw sewage in their basements.

Luke Monroe, 4332 Ohio St., represented owners of 20 homes caught up in what he called "the disaster on Ohio Street." Some homeowners have been dealing with sewage backups since 1972.

Monroe, who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, said the heavy storms weren't the reason for the sewage backups.

"The sewer problems have been ongoing," Monroe said. "Residents who've been here 20 years see backups every few years."

Monroe said appeals made to previous councilmembers seem to "fall on deaf ears."

He said the problems have been reported to the Sanitary District for years. Repairs have been made, but breaks have reoccurred.

"We don't have the extra money to go out and buy furniture every three years," Monroe said. "It doesn't seem like we're being heard."

Allen Briggs, 103 Southwind Drive, told the council he is next to a pumping station and can hear when the pumps stop working.

Since last November, he's had three incidents of sewage backup in his basement, and he's concerned his insurance carrier will drop him.

"There's a problem on that corner," Briggs said. "It doesn't take a lot of flooding for it to back up. The Sanitary District has to address this pumping station issue."

Standing water with human waste was not the only problem. Some had furnaces that won't work, and others have been without hot water since Saturday. Some of those with homeowner's insurance found out they didn't have coverage for sewer backups.

Councilmembers Ron Meer and Bob McKee got firsthand looks at the residents' situations over the weekend.

"There are a whole lot of different problems happening in the area at once," McKee said. "There are some macro issues with drainage problems and short-term problems."

Meer said he was aware of ongoing problems in the 4200 and 4300 blocks of Ohio Street, even with lesser storms than the record-setting weekend downpours. Any financial assistance from the city would have to come from the mayor's office, not from the council, he added.

The best hope for assistance is to have the county declared a disaster, according to John Jones, Michigan City director of emergency management. Jones said he met with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday afternoon to report on more than 300 flooded basements, and his phone rang constantly with calls from those wanting to file reports.

"The majority of calls are about water seepage from saturated ground," Jones said.

Jones said a field representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency could be in Michigan City by Thursday to review individual and public-assistance needs.

The Sanitary District has fielded more than 150 calls, Jones said, and he will cross-reference calls in both departments.

Jones expects to have more help answering phone calls today and encourages everyone with water damage to call him at 873-1499.

Those who have called for cleanup service should keep all receipts and take photos of the damage for the record, he said. If the county is declared a disaster area, FEMA will help those without insurance, and people with insurance probably will need to get a denial of coverage letter from the insurance company.



Contact Laurie Wink at lwink@thenewsdispatch.com.
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post Sep 17 2008, 09:42 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...&TM=42421.4

QUOTE
Daniels declares disaster in flooded cities
MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) - Gov. Mitch Daniels declared a state of disaster in flooded Lake and Porter counties Tuesday after surveying waterlogged communities by air and boat.

Daniels got a close look at northwest Indiana's flood damage as he toured the region in the hours before Tuesday night's gubernatorial debate in Merrillville with Democrat Jill Long Thompson and Libertarian Andy Horning.

In Chesterton, near Lake Michigan, Daniels visited relatives of two men who died in the weekend flooding that followed up to a foot of rain delivered by the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

He encouraged residents to report water damage in hopes of receiving federal assistance.

"It's really important not to miss anything," he told officials at the Chesterton Town Hall.

The governor's office later announced that Daniels had declared a state of disaster emergency, which would allow the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to help provide expanded emergency services.

The next step would be to request federal aid, the statement said. Homeland Security Director Joseph Wainscott Jr. said teams were expected to arrive in the area today to determine if damage has reached the threshold required for financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance to both homeowners and municipalities.

He said it already appears likely the area will qualify for disaster assistance in the form of low cost loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The deluge of rain - up to a foot in some areas - left northern Indiana road crews working for a third straight day to pump water from swamped lanes of Interstate 80/94. Interstate 65 also remained closed from U.S. 24 in Remington north to I-80/94 three days after the storm.

Andy Dietrick, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said crews were having trouble clearing water from I-80/94 because part of the flooded Little Calumet River runs parallel to the highway.

Dietrick said it's unclear when the highway might reopen. Once the water recedes and roads are dry, engineers will check the structural integrity of the roads, bridges and overpasses.

Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said Tuesday that three subdivisions in the city of 12,000 near Lake Michigan were still mired in street and yard flooding.

Schnadenberg said that between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening, the city's sewer plant recorded just over 12 inches of rain - what he called an "incredible" deluge.

While northern Indiana struggled with floodwaters, central and southern Indiana were dealing with power outages that followed high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, more than 100,000 homes and businesses remained without power, but phone service had been restored statewide, Homeland Security said.
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