Receding flood waters reveal dozens of damaged homes

BLACKFORD COUNTY (WISH) – Monday’s intense heat only made matters worse for families trying to clean up their homes after flood waters rushed in last week.

Photo Gallery | August flooding in Indiana 

One of the hardest hit communities was Hartford City. Some families said they’ve experienced flooding before, but never like last week.

“The couch and the chairs were in the living room, all of this is floor unit they’ve tore up,” said Kenneth Knopp has he gave us a tour outside his home. His driveway and lawn were littered with what used to be inside his home.

“That dresser was in one of the bedrooms I don’t remember which one I couldn’t tell you.”

A small puddle nearby feels more like a rain drop compared to the flood waters that filled his house last week, forcing his family to tear the place apart. “I’ve sat up on the porch and cried if you want to know the truth,” he said.

And it’s the same exact story next door and at just about every home near Conger and Werber Street.

“Years and years ago we would see some flooding,” said EMA Director Aaron Henderson as he referenced that particular intersection on a map.

But even he feels last week’s rain was one for the record books.

“Last estimate we saw was around 10 and 3/4 inches in a 12 hour period,” he said.

Main Street was still caked with mud today and grass near the top of mailboxes proved just how high the water kept creeping.

“There were some areas this time that we’ve never seen water stand there. There was just so much water over a short period of time, it had nowhere to go,” said Henderson.

It did eventually go after a few days giving homeowners a chance to figure out what can be salvaged and what needs to be trashed.

“We do have the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is here today, going through doing some damage assessments,” said Henderson. One of the assessors met with Knopp.

“He was telling me they got a lot of organizations that would come in and finish up what we started, get all everything and whatever we need done,” said Knopp. “Wish nobody else would have ever have to go through this again.”

Henderson said more than 30 homeowners in town are heavily damaged, but he’s confident there are several more people who need help.

“We’ll have volunteer organizations that are wanting to and willing to come in and help with clean up and disaster assistance and if we don’t know where you’re at, we certainly can’t help you,” said Henderson.

Even though IDHS assessors were in town, Henderson isn’t confident there’s enough damage to warrant government assistance.

That’s why he wants people to call his office or the Blackford Co. Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible so they can at least get them some sort of help, whether it is from the American Red Cross or other volunteer organizations.

To get help, call Blackford Co. EMA at 765-348-7230, or the Sheriff’s Office at 765-348-0930.

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