9 inches of rain, but Indiana county denied flood damage relief

Nine inches of rain hit Dubois County in a short period during May 2017. (WEHT Photo)

JASPER, Ind. (WEHT) — Nine inches of rain and hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage are plaguing Dubois County after flash flooding hit in May.

But the only number that matters in Jasper on Friday afternoon: two. That’s how many damaged homes leave the county short of qualifying for Small Business Administration loans for flooding damage.

Tammy Humbert, emergency management director of Dubois County, said, “You just feel like your hands are tied behind your back and you don’t have anywhere to go and it’s just very disappointing being in your position; my job is to help people and I’m not able to help them with this.”

Now hundreds of thousands of dollars are left to be found by county commissioners to repair public roads and bridges. Dubois County is about 75 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Chad Blessinger, president of the Dubois County commissioners, said, “We’re going to be spending money in some places on road repairs and a few structural issues that we hadn’t planned on in the past, but we’ll make do. We’ve been good stewards of the money we’ve got reserved. We’ll take good care of the public roadways and public property.”

But sometimes the county commission president said you have to look beyond the numbers.

Humbert said that “though it affected a couple hundred properties pretty majorly, it still didn’t cause as much damage as it could have, so were grateful for that, and there wasn’t a loss of life so that’s always important.”

Dubois County officials say residents can still register water damage through the end of June. There is still a small possibility that if the Small Business Administration threshold is met by that deadline, the state will reconsider Dubois County for loans.

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