Preparations continue for rising waterJune 19, 2019
By BILL POWELL and LEANN BURKE
JASPER — With a fifth straight day of rain in store and 30 roads flooded by muddy water, the Dubois County Sheriff’s Office, Dubois County Emergency Management Agency and Dubois County Highway Department continue to coordinate for the sake of public safety.
On Tuesday those agencies announced the closure of a road adjacent to the Patoka Lake spillway. Cuzco Road South adjacent to the emergency spillway is barricaded and closed between county roads 330N and 450N until further notice.
Patoka Lake’s spillway crest elevation reached 548 feet Tuesday and today’s level crept to 548.18, although water has yet to cross Cuzco Road South.
As of midnight, Jasper had recorded 6.76 inches of rain the previous four days with a forecast calling for showers and thunderstorms later today — and a potential for .25 to .50 of an inch of new rainfall.
No traffic is being allowed on Cuzco Road South and, this morning, Sgt. Stuart Wilson with the sheriff’s office was headed up to check the area.
“Our guys periodically checked it all night, and we manned it until dark,” Wilson said.
Motorists are finding barricades and high-water signs posted on many of the routes they frequent, but sheriff’s deputies and the Jasper Police Department report issuing no tickets as yet for individuals circumventing barricades.
“Considering the amount of roads under water, it’s been pretty good this time,” said Wilson, fresh from posting a “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” picture on the sheriff’s office social media.
EMA Director Tammy Humbert says her office is in a monitoring mode doing daily checks on anticipated rainfall.
“We’re notified whenever the river rises,” said Humbert, who walked the Patoka Lake spillway Tuesday. “It’s always good for me to have a visual. It makes you know what you are saying is right on key.”
Officials know spillway flows will make it to Cuzco Road South at some point.
“It depends on what’s coming in tonight,” she said. “We’ve got storms moving in. If we get the heavy rains in the certain locations like we’ve been so lucky the last few days to get, it might move a little faster than it has been.”
“Things are going real slow right now — so things are going well,” Humbert added.
To aid preparedness, sandbags have been made available to the public in Jasper and Huntingburg. Humbert even has some empty sandbags at her office.
Huntingburg Street Superintendent Jason Stamm said Huntingburg offered 500 sandbags, and about 30 were left as of this morning.
Stamm said his department will try to fill more sandbags and ensure catch basins are cleared between rains. He said the department cleared the catch basins before the last round of rain and plans to check them all again.
At last report, the county highway department said high water has forced the closure of:
• County Road 150N west of County Road 750W.
• County Road 150N between county roads 500W and 600W.
• County Road 875W south of County Road 150N.
• County Road 50N west of County Road 750W.
• County Road 800W north of County Road 300S.
• Division Road east of County Road 600W.
• Stewart Road off Division Road.
• County Road 620W at Dillon Creek.
• County Road 150S west of Old Huntingburg Road.
• Ell Creek Road north of County Road 400S.
• County Road 175E north of County Road 300N.
• County Road 600N east of Kellerville Road.
• Cuzco Road West south of State Road 56.
• Dubois Road Northeast south of State Road 56.
• County Road 600N west of County Road 200W.
• Meridian Road south of State Road 162.
• County Road 300N west of County Road 175E.
• County Road 175E south of County Road 300N.
• Kellerville Road north of Cathy Lane.
• Harts Gravel Road at Kings Ridge Road.
• County Road 450N west of Cuzco Road South.
• Old Huntingburg Road north of County Road 400S.
• County Road 400S west of Ell Creek Road.
• County Road 400S east of U.S. 231.
• County Road 130W north of County Road 400S.
• Old Road 64 west of Patoka Road.
• East First Street in Huntingburg west of County Road 75W.
• County Road 75W south of State Road 64.
• County Road 200W south of Sunset Drive.
• Ferdinand Road Northwest at two locations east of County Road 200W.
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