Residents had to be evacuated in boats from a Center Grove area neighborhood after nearly 5 inches of rain fell this weekend, and the ground was too saturated to absorb any more water.
No damage to occupied homes was reported to the county after Friday night’s storm, though officials expect some basements took in water.
But water rose to chest deep in one neighborhood, and likely spilled into homes, officials said. And one home in the Deerwood neighborhood near Stones Crossing and Mullinix roads, which officials believe is vacant, got as much as 2 feet of water inside, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Joe Clark said.
By Sunday, Youngs Creek, which flows through Franklin and further south, was already at flood stage, and more rain was coming, said Stephanie Sichting, county emergency management director.
Flooding was reported in multiple areas across the county after 3 to 5 inches of rain fell in a short period of time Friday night. The hardest hit areas were in Greenwood, Bargersville and Center Grove, Sichting said. Multiple roads, including part of Smith Valley Road, were closed for part of the weekend due to flooding, and at one point the highway department ran out of road closed signs, Clark said.
No one was injured, and water started to recede in many areas after the rain stopped, Sichting said.
One of the hardest hit areas was in Stone Village, off Stones Crossing Road, just west of State Road 135. Water was draining into storm drains, but not fast enough and had flooded streets and yards.
“When you get that much rain in that short amount of time, the rain just has nowhere to go,” Bargersville Fire Department Division Chief Eric Funkhouser said.
A total of 28 residents were evacuated from their homes both by boat and with the help of emergency workers after water began reaching their front and garage doors. Water in the neighborhood was waist- chest-deep in some areas, Funkhouser said. Johnson County REMC was called to shut off power to the area.
Officials also had called for a school bus to take residents to shelter at Sugar Grove Elementary School, but the building was not needed since residents were all able to leave with friends and family, he said.
Emergency workers brought boats up to residents’ doors, and helped them get to higher ground with whatever they brought, Funkhouser said. Emergency workers have been called to that area at least one other time to evacuate residents when it flooded in December 2013, he said.
A resident also had to be rescued from a home in the Old Smith Valley area. That area also flooded significantly in 2008, and the county purchased homes in a flood buyout. If that had not been done, more homes would have flooded this weekend, because the home they were called to was on high ground, White River Fire Department Chief Jeremy Pell said.
Emergency workers were also called to another Center Grove area neighborhood, Horizon Estates near Stones Crossing and Mullinix roads, for flooding.
Residents were not evacuated, but emergency workers had to rescue a motorist from a car that drove into flooded water in the subdivision, Pell said.
Motorists also called for help after driving into high water at County Road 200N and County Road 75W, near Franklin, and at Smith Valley Road and State Road 37.
Many of the areas police were called to have had issues with flooding before, officials said.