Local emergency declared after 8+ inches of rainApril 29, 2017
By BILL POWELL
The Dubois County Commissioners issued a local emergency this morning after parts of Dubois County received in excess of 8 inches of rain since Friday night.
The commissioners and the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency said the emergency declaration will be in effect until Sunday due to the projected forecast calling for more rain into Monday. The declaration advises the public to not drive on any roadways covered with water.
Light drizzle early Friday evening turned into steady rain around 8 p.m. and, by 11 p.m., reports of vehicles stalling out in high water began to be received.
By mid-morning today, Dubois County Emergency Management Deputy Director Gary Fritz said a spotter’s weather station just west of Huntingburg had caught 8.11 inches of precipitation. Another gauge 1.6 miles west-southwest of Jasper registered 6.83 inches.
Radar-indicated estimates suggested a swath of Dubois County from Holland, through Huntingburg and into the Birdseye area had received in excess of 8 inches of rain, according to Fritz.
The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department reported just before 9:30 a.m.today that the state roads 64 and 37 cloverleaf in English was under water.
Fritz said radar estimates for Dubois County indicated the Jasper area had received in excess of 6 inches of rain, with more than 5 inches in the Ferdinand area. Northern portions of Dubois County were estimated to have logged more than 2 inches of rain.
State Road 64 east of Huntingburg was blocked by high water this morning, as was State Road 162 south of Jasper in the Maltersville/Hochgesang Bottoms area and State Road 64 in the Kyana area.
Both Fifth and Tenth Street Schools experienced flooding. Photos: http://bit.ly/2pgxb6w
High water had at times come over other main roads before dissipating. Some of the roads that had been in that category included State Road 145 south of Birdseye, State Road 56 between Haysville and Kellerville Road and State Road 545 in the Dubois area.
Indiana State Police reported after 9 a.m. today that the westbound lanes of I-64 east of the Ferdinand exit at the 67-mile marker were under water and traffic was stopped.
Police and fire department personnel throughout the county have stayed busy providing traffic control and aiding street and highway departments with clearing debris that has washed up on roadways.
Vehicles have stalled out and become stuck in multiple locations, keeping responders in constant motion.
Severe thunderstorm activity overnight resulted in additional calls. Around midnight, there were various reports of power lines reported down or hanging low near roadways. A transformer was reported to have blown west of Huntingburg in the County Road 400W area and the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department responded to the report of the smell of gas in a residence in the 300 block of North Main Street. Other police and fire department responded to alarm activations.
The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department, Indiana Conservation Officers, Dubois County Sheriff’s Department and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services participated in a water rescue in the Hochgesang Bottoms around 6:30 a.m. today.
Sheriff’s department Sgt. Stuart Wilson said conservation officers boated to the first of two motorists stopped in about 1 1/2 feet of water and successfully coaxed the woman to put her vehicle in gear and proceed forward with them at her side. Those two drivers never exited their vehicles.
Dubois County Emergency Management Director Tammy Humbert said there have been no reports of injuries. There have been many reports of flooded basements, she added.
Sgt. Wilson said authorities probably assisted a dozen motorists whose vehicles stalled out in high water overnight and into this morning.
Fritz is currently working with the National Weather Service in Louisville to determine how much more rain may be in store.
Periods of showers and thunderstorms are forecast for today and the chance of additional precipitation Sunday stands at 60 percent, according to the National Weather Service.
(This story will be updated)
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