Bil Browning

Water, water, everywhere

Filed By Bil Browning | June 08, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: burst dam, Columbus, flooding, Indiana, Indiana flooding, Indianapolis, Ninevah, Princess Lakes

Thanks to several of you have written to ask if those of us from Indiana are doing okay after this weekend's massive flooding. bilde.jpegPersonally, we got a bit of water in the basement but that's about it. When we bought our house a couple years ago, we also looked at a house on Hannah Avenue. The Indianapolis Star picture to the right is Hannah Avenue. I'm glad we didn't buy that house!

I've talked to most of our local contributors now and everyone seems to be okay. The only person I'm mildly worried about is Marti; I know she lives on the southside and that's where the most flooding happened here in Indy. You've not seen anything until you've seen military transport helicopters whirling around overhead like your city has become a war zone. It's scary.

Jerame's family wasn't so lucky. They live in Columbus, Indiana; the town is shut down - no way in and no way out. His grandmother's home was hit the worst; his uncle lived in the furnished basement but the water filled the basement and made it about a foot high on the first floor. She has no renter's insurance. We're also still waiting to hear from Paige's mom and brother; they live in another hard-hit town.

8445680_BG5.jpgThe Columbus hospital had to be evacuated after the water took over. (Video at that post is amazing.) Close to where I used to work when we lived there, a dam burst and the the entire Prince's Lakes area is still cut off. (This picture is about a half mile from where I worked. See the line of trees at the top? That was my store.) One person died in Columbus and the National Guard is patrolling and rescuing stranded folks. Interstate 70 was closed after part of the road washed away; Semi trucks were washed down Interstate 65.

Thanks for your concern, Projectors. We seem to be doing fine, but please keep our friends and families in your prayers.

First I had a gun shoved in my face on my own front porch and now the Great Deluge. It's been a hell of a week.

At least one person died, hospitals were evacuated, a dam failed, people fled their homes in boats.

Flooding followed a torrential downpour Saturday that swamped low-lying areas between Terre Haute and Bloomington, sending rivers and streams over their banks: An apparent Indiana record of almost 11 inches fell in Edinburgh, and 8 to 10 inches were recorded from Sullivan to Shelbyville.

The governor's office reported one person dead in Columbus and no others seriously hurt. The Columbus Republic reported on its Web site that a body was found in a flood-washed car.

The property damage across Indiana is expected to be substantial.
Columbus Hospital evacuated more than 100 patients in the face of flooding. In Franklin, water gushed through the front door of Johnson Memorial Hospital about 7 a.m. Saturday, forcing the emergency department to make a hasty move to drier quarters.

Shelters were set up in Greenwood, Trafalgar, Martinsville and Bloomington, among other communities. Columbus alone opened four. Officials did not have a precise count of how many people had come to the shelters.

Police and highway officials closed many roads south and west of Indianapolis, including two interstates. I-65 was closed from its junction with I-465 to Columbus for several hours, and I-70 was closed by the State Police at 4:30 p.m. as waters lapped over the pavement. Eastbound lanes reopened at 8:30 p.m.

"I don't remember I-70 and I-65 ever being closed to flooding that I can remember," said Wainscott, who spent more than two decades as an Indiana State Police trooper.

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My heart goes out to all of you in Indy, especially our Bilerico Family.

I lived in Columbus during 1984-1985, and it flooded a couple of times while I lived there - the town's somewhat prone to that. It was cut off from the mile marker 68 interchange with I-65 by flooding from the White River, which runs between the interchange and the town, but I don't recall anything that severe. Supposedly the Muscatatuck from Seymour south through Crothersville is also flooding.

My mother-in-law lives on high ground north of Bloomington, and reported that some of the low lying areas around the IU campus were flash-flooded, as were areas downhill from her and north of her. She, wisely, wasn't venturing out.

Funny, not a drop of rain here in Louisville. Dry as a bone, near 100 degrees. As often happens, the "knobs" in Southern Indiana blocked us from these storms. Ohio River's rising, however, as you'd expect.

We're thinking of you folks in Indiana, and hope everyone is safe. Keep us posted on anyone directly affected that may need help in the recovery phase.

I'm sorry to hear about the flooding in Indiana. I visited Marti's Livejournal page and followed some of the links. I am not sure if this is accurate, but her OkCupid page is showing a login for today.

Melanie Davis | June 9, 2008 1:16 AM

Hi, I have some rather sad news concerning our friend Marti.

She was washed away in the sudden deluge of support for Obama this weekend. Rescue crews attempted to pull her from the torrent of former Hillary supporters, but the combined weight of tee-shirts, flyers, and buttons kept dragging her under. Eventually, all first responders were called off to help other victims, but concerned friends and family have petitioned the county sheriff's office to have Obama's former downtown primary office dredged for her remains. Many of us hold out hope that she was caught in a tree and is sustaining herself on squirrel's milk and right-wing nuts until help arrives.

Please join us in a moment of contemplative silence for our dear, lost friend Marti Abernathy. May she come home safely, or at least soon, 'cause I'm gonna eat all the eggs in the fridge if she don't.

P.S.: The flood here was kept to the parking lot where the water was halfway up the residents' trucks' tires.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 9, 2008 1:28 AM

Are those "Deviled Eggs" Melanie? :)

Update on my Hoosier Republican ladies. They profess small government so have returned their Social Security and Farm subsidy checks and have last been seen paddling down the Wabash river.

Melanie Davis | June 9, 2008 2:49 AM

Is there any other kind, Robert?

Although some days I feel a bit scrambled.

That was a yolk.

Sorry, I'll stop.

Just so no one worries...

I heard from Marti late last night. She's doing fine.

Paige also heard from her brother and mom last night. They're fine as well.