Volunteers help build up levee after water spills into neighborhood

Crews work to stop floodwaters from spilling into a Waynedale neighborhood.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  Yvonne Park’s basement has flooded twice in two days. She lost piles of belongings, including family heirloom dolls passed down from her mother-in-law who passed away 16 years ago.

“They are just all ruined. I was in tears yesterday, I mean it was just stuff that I can’t replace that I was saving for them when they move out for their daughters,” Park said.

The city built another levee Tuesday to reinforce the existing one in Park’s neighborhood , but water was spilling over Wednesday night. Dozens of volunteers helped build up the levee with sandbags behind Park’s house to keep the water out Thursday morning.

“It’s nice to know there are people out there willing to help,” Park said.

Public Works spokesperson Frank Suarez said the city is closely monitoring the situation with engineers and crews working around the clock.

“The last I saw we are at the second highest in the history of the St. Mary’s. We are working 12 hour shifts and they’ll be working through tonight into the weekend as well,” Suarez said.

Because of the damage to her home, Park said her only option is to move.

“There’s so many cracks in the foundation we’re just going to have to move,” Park said.

With so much lost Park found a special gift while cleaning out her basement. It was a letter she never knew she had from her mother-in-law, dated almost exactly 17 years ago.

“She was thanking all of her friends and her loved ones for prayers and phone calls,” Park said.

If you would like to help fill or stack sandbags you should call 311 first and they will direct you to one of the several locations needing volunteers.

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