County assesses storm damage, braces for more

American Red Cross teams knocked on doors throughout the county, trying to get a tally of damage from Tuesday’s flooding, as the county prepared for the possibility of more heavy rain today.

Red Cross teams headed to Franklin, Bargersville, Whiteland and New Whiteland looking for homes damaged, and people in need of help. Once they finish, that will give the county an idea of whether it can seek a disaster declaration, which would help pay for emergency responses during Tuesday’s heavy rains and flooding and help property owners with damage, Johnson County Emergency Management Director Stephanie Sichting said.

As of Wednesday, she didn’t know how many homes or businesses had been flooded, or how many roads may have also been damaged, especially since water remained high in some areas of the county, she said.

Sichting was also closely watching the southern area of the county, as water continued to flow from the more northern communities. Amity had flooding Wednesday, and she was hoping the water would spare Edinburgh, she said.

Youngs Creek in Amity hit 12 feet on Wednesday, and flood stage is 7 feet, she said.

She was worried about additional rain — with some predicting it could be heavy rain — coming today, she said.

“The ground is just so saturated right now,” she said.

On Tuesday, the rain came fast and heavy, leading to flooding when the water couldn’t drain fast enough, she said.

But when the rain stopped, water levels could recede. Now, more rain would have nowhere to go, Sichting said.

She thanked emergency workers and dispatchers, who had responded to multiple calls, ranging from water rescues to flooded streets and evacuations from homes all around the county.

So many roads were flooded at one time that the county ran out of barricades to block them all, she said. She is planning to get a grant to buy more in the future, she said.

Her hope was that water will recede overnight, so by today, the levels would hopefully be low enough to be able to handle more rain, she said.

“We just have to get ready for the next one,” she said.

At a glance

Anyone with damage from the flood can report it to the Johnson County Emergency Management Agency at 317-736-9064.

The county will use that information to determine if the county can apply for a disaster designation, which would help pay for the emergency response and could help property owners with damage.

Author photo
Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.