BLACKFORD COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — More than 30 people were forced out of their homes on Friday, after severe flooding in Blackford County. The majority of those residents lived in the Greenlawn Mobile Home Park on Park Avenue.
Rescue crews in boats helped get the people out of their homes and take them to a Red Cross shelter at the local fairgrounds. Multiple agencies, including Indiana State Police, local fire departments, police departments, DNR and Blackford County Emergency Management were out helping assess and clear the damage.
“I got up getting ready to get my boys up. Open the door and there’s a lake,” said Aaron Thomas, who was forced out of his home.
Thomas and his wife scrambled to gather their belongings while rescue crews took their two young boys to safety. The Red Cross says the residents have a long road ahead.
“The thing with floods, is you have flash floods in low lying areas. But to these residents, they are impacted just the same as if it’s a countywide flood. They’re all displaced, and need a place to stay,” said Mark Welsh of the American Red Cross.
The health department is warning people to stay of of this water, because sewers have backed up causing unsanitary conditions. Officials are also warning people not to drive over water-covered roads, even if there is not a sign saying to turn around.
Aaron Henderson, the Blackford County Emergency Management Director, says the county doesn’t have enough signs to warn drivers about every dangerous road.
Henderson said he can’t remember any flooding that has been worse than Friday’s floods.
“There’s no comparison,” Henderson said.
Governor Mike Pence’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety John Hill issued the following statement Friday regarding heavy flooding in east-central Indiana:
“At Governor Pence’s direction, the State of Indiana has reached out to leaders in Hartford City in regard to local flooding. At this time, the community has not requested assistance. The State will continue to monitor the situation and stands ready to assist if needed in the days to come.”
If you’d like to donate to the cleanup efforts visit the Red Cross website for details.