Video and photo show a flooded Brookside Drive in New Whiteland on Tuesday morning.

3 p.m.
Part of Franklin Community Middle School has been opened as a Red Cross shelter for residents who been evacuated or can not get home.
Residents in need of shelter are asked to enter the pool entrance. This is the only shelter open in the county.
Water is waist high in some neighborhoods in Franklin, and residents of Northwood Apartments are being encouraged, but not forced, to leave.
Homes and businesses along Front Street and the railroad tracks in Whiteland have been damaged by flood waters, town manager Norm Gabehart said. Some parts of the town are inaccessible, so officials can not determine the extent of the damage, emergency management officials said.
About 3.5 inches of rain fell within an hour, sending water into homes. One concern is when the water will crest, and damage that could be caused to bridges and roads, Gabehart said.
He and other town workers were frantically unloading sand bags in key areas to try to more damage.
Some homes in Franklin also had water inside the home.
2 p.m.
The first of two storms to hit Johnson County dropped six inches of rain and more is on the way, said Johnson County Emergency Management Director, Stephanie Sichting.

The measurement came from the National Weather Service. Variations in the total amount of rainfall so far across the county wasn’t immediately available.

The second storm is releasing a heavy downpour across a large swath of Johnson County, but how much more rain will come isn’t known, she said.

Sichting toured Whiteland early this afternoon, and said extensive flooding had damaged at least several businesses and homes, but a full count wasn’t available because many roads were to flooded to drive through.

1 p.m.

The Center Grove area is getting a brief reprieve after several hours of rain, but more storms expected to strike the area later this afternoon are a concern.

“We haven’t seen a lot of receding,” White River Fire Department Chief Jeremy Pell said. “That is what is concerning. We might get another round before the first round recedes.”

Smith Valley Road is closed at Honey Creek, just east of State Road 37, due to flooding, he said.

One resident had to be evacuated from the El Dorado neighborhood this morning. Another got stuck in high water at the Morgantown Road and Brentridge Parkway intersection and also had to be rescued, Pell said.

Other areas of flooding in the Center Grove area included Olive Branch Road, Mullinix Road, the Bluff Acres neighborhood, Paddock Road, Old Smith Valley Road and Center Grove Estates, Pell said.

The morning storm also caused a house fire from a lightning strike in the Honey Creek Meadows subdivision Greenwood.
The Greenwood Fire Department worked to put out a house fire on Ashton Lane that was sparked by a lighting strike, department spokesperson Chad Tatman said. The neighborhood is northwest of Stones Crossing Road and North County Road 125 West.
The fire began about 8:50 a.m. and was out by 9:30 a.m., he said.

One resident who was home at the time of the fire was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. A dog was also rescued from the home. The White River Fire Department assisted in fighting the fire, Tatman said.

The fire damage was mostly contained to the basement of the house, though there was smoke and water damage elsewhere. The property has been turned back over to the homeowner, he said.

Greenwood hasn’t experienced any major flooding issues this morning, but the fire department has been busy assisting other agencies to the south with flooding in the New Whiteland, Whiteland and Bargersville areas, Tatman said.
Morning

Heavy rain and high water is forcing evacuations of homes in the Stone Village neighborhood in the Center Grove area.

The neighborhood is near Stones Crossing Road and State Road 135, and the intersection is covered in water. A home in the El Dorado neighborhood, also in the Center Grove area, has water creeping into the garage. Two homes on Front Street in Whiteland have taken on water.

Residents are being asked to stay off the roads across the county. Nearly every east-west road in the northern part of the county is water-covered.

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The Bargersville Fire Department has boats lined up to evacuate residents in a flooded neighborhood near State Road 135 and Stones Crossing Road.

Rising waters have covered the streets and driveways in the Stone Village neighborhood, Bargersville Fire Department Chief Jason Ramey said.

Firefighters have been working with residents and other agencies to get boats ready to evacuate residents if necessary. Because of the other water- and storm-related emergencies the department has been responding to, it so far is holding off on doing a full evacuation, and will only get residents out of the neighborhood if they request assistance, Ramey said.
Emergency responders are trying to find a local church to house people if evacuated residents don’t have a place to stay, he said.

Ramey, who was working the morning of the massive 2008 flood in Johnson County, said the situation Tuesday morning is eerily similar.

Flooding is also beginning to spread into adjacent neighborhoods, and first responders are closely monitoring the situation, Ramey said.

Sections of State Road 135, County Road 144 and Whiteland Road have also flooded. Drivers should stay off the roads, he said.
“It’s dangerous to travel in most areas of the county,” Ramey said.

Heavy rains are causing other road closures across the county.

Officials are asking drivers to use caution and be aware of their surroundings.

In Knollwood Farms, off U.S. 31 in Franklin, water was backing up into driveways, Mayor Steve Barnett said. Streets in the subdivision are impassable and cars are stalled in the water, Barnett said.

Other streets and intersections in Franklin that are closed or covered in water include U.S. 31 and Mauxferry Road, U.S. 31 and South Main Street, Knollwood Avenue and Israel Lane, Lochry Road and 14th Street, Adams Drive and Jackson Street, Breckenridge and Madison streets and Eastview Drive and King Street, Franklin Police Deputy Chief Chris Tennell said.

The street department has set up barricades to block the roads on Earlywood Drive from the railroad tracks to Graham Road, on South Main Street, from South Street to U.S. 31, at Schoolhouse Road and Younce Street and on Sloan Drive.

Whiteland received. 3.5 inches of rain in an hour, leading to flooding throughout the town, town manager Norm Gabehart said.
Town workers got sandbags to try to protect certain areas, including along Front Street where at least two homes had already flooded, Gabehart said.
Ditches were filling, and water was spilling over onto U.S. 31 near Tracy Road, he said.
Firefighters were headed to the El Dorado neighborhood on a report of flooding, White River Fire Department Chief Jeremy Pell said.
A resident reported water coming up into his garage. The department will evacuate residents if necessary, Pell said. The area, on State Road 135 south of Olive Branch Road, is not one that typically floods during heavy rain.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office issued a high water warning Tuesday morning.”We are getting calls of water running across the roadways throughout Johnson County. Keep your eyes open in areas that typically flood,” the advisory said.

County Road 125W at State Road 144 is closed. The road is one that often floods during periods of heavy rain.

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.