Lebanon Reporter

April 20, 2013

SLIDESHOW: County responds to severe flooding

By Sarah Lang
Staff writer

Boone County — Creeks in Boone County surpassed major flood levels Thursday night, prompting the Boone County Commissioners to declare a state of emergency early Friday morning. The flooding caused a multitude of problems, such as stranded motorists and residents without electricity or working toilets.

The flooding is worse than Mike Martin, director of Boone County Emergency Management Agency, has seen in a long time.

“It’s been a while,” he said, adding that “old-timers” were saying that it was worse then the flood of 1957. “I hope we can call it a historic flood, so then we will never have it this bad again.”

All schools in the county were closed Friday, as were libraries, city and county offices.

Though the water levels were high, Martin said Friday afternoon that they were beginning to recede. The commissioners downgraded the state of emergency to a watch level at 3:30 p.m. Friday, meaning the conditions are still dangerous but allowing for some local travel.

During the warning level Friday, local travel was restricted, but there were still several water rescues due to motorists trying to traverse water-covered streets. Martin said there were 12 water rescues in Thorntown, about 15 in Zionsville and around five in Lebanon.

Lebanon Fire Chief Jason Lee said of those water rescues, most were people trying to get out of water-locked areas to higher ground. There were no major incidents and no injuries reported.

“People were just stranded in the middle of lakes of water,” he said. “The ground was already flooded and soft, just really primed for this last night.”

Several major roads were closed in the county, Martin said, including Ind 75 north of Thorntown, Ind. 47 west of Thorntown, and U.S. 52 north of Ind. 47. Many city streets were also closed, such as Ford Road and 96th Street and Zionsville Road in Zionsville.

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