Thursday, January 10, 2008

Amazing Stories & Pictures From Where You Live

Courtesy of Michele Michalski

Here is the devastating scene from Monticello's Diamond Point Road. Old Glory still stands above the flood waters, albeit barely. You know things have been rough when your weather watcher calls you from a hotel. Mark in Monticello had to leave his home on Tuesday and may not be able to return until this weekend at the earliest. Mark and many of his neighbors have been watching our newscasts from hotels trying to get the latest information. Our news and weather team take great pride in serving our community in good times and bad and I can tell you everybody here at work has gone way above and beyond and is giving 110%. Our viewers deserve the best. Unfortunately, it has been very tough on all of us here at WFLI because many of us feel really helpless and wish there was more we could do and that we would have better news to report. The reality is there will be some folks that will not have anything left to actually go back to.

I do not think this many people have been forced from their homes since the great ice storm of March 1991. That is when ice chunks the size of small automobiles actually fell from our television tower and some folks were not able to return to their homes for 3 to 4 weeks. But at least they had homes to return to once the power was fully restored. The stories coming out of portions of Carroll, White, Newton, Jasper, and Fulton Counties are the kind of stories you just do not think would happen this close to home. Clean-up will take not days, but months.

Courtesy of Karena Price

Here is the scene in Wolcott and it shows another major concern. Many of the roads are literally crumbling due to the force and churning of the flood waters. The stone and soil in the asphalt are being washed away. Also, the ground is so soft due to saturation of the soil that the roads are not able to hold up when vehicles drive across them. So there will be a lot of roads that will need to be replaced. It is the aftermath of flooding that can be in many ways more dangerous than the flood itself. Please do not lose your patience because it can save your life. Please do not try to return to your home until you are told to do so. The flood waters have created many hidden dangers that you would not think of, including being electrocuted, an increased fire danger, and bacteria in the water the can cause illnesses just to name a few.

Courtesy of Mary Anne Best in Remington

More amazing stories are coming out of Jasper County. Our weather watcher Mary Anne gives us a first-hand account of what is going on.

Mike….it is NEVER a good thing to make national news!

What a mess this town is. Below is what I posted to a group:

I am here! It has been a very busy day, I have survivor's guilt! Remember my neighbors who had to flee yesterday? Well, they are all back today cleaning up. What a mess!. The only thing "good" about a flood that I can see to compare with a tornado is that in a flood your stuff is still there for you to sort through. Around town there are piles and piles of "stuff" sitting out front of homes. Carpeting, TVs, appliances, name it, it is there. The sun is out and most people are smiling. One neighbor told me he had to escape from an upstairs window onto the roof and down. He has 4 children. His wife was working and called to wake him. They had 3 feet of water in their downstairs. Two vehicles under water.

Two elderly couples around the corner from us, one couple in their nineties, both were carried out on the backs of town men. Both stepped out of bed into water up to their ankles but that was only the beginning. Their belongings are in the street, too. Driving around town it is like that in almost every block. I see now how one tragedy (in our case the mobile home park) is the center of the news, but believe me, many other homes are affected, too.

I finally begged one neighbor to let me do SOMETHING. I am no good physically but have cold water (soap works in cold water) and a dryer that works, so she let me do towels. I have some in for the second washing now. Black, muddy, sopping wet towels! They were in a drawer.

The sun is going down and the house will start to chill now. Hubby is working on our furnace finally. he has been working on other's today (his job). He is very good at what he does and will know before long if the furnace does work, next will be the water heater.

Thanks Mary Anne! You are one of many unsung heroes in our viewing area that are making a huge difference by helping others out. This part of the country is special in that here in the Midwest it seems to be in our blood or our way of life to help others out in times of need. Here in Indiana, it is what I call Hoosier hospitality. This is not saying other parts of the country are not caring, but here in the Midwest helping others is handed down from generation to generation. I believe it all started in response to the wild weather we have. It has allowed us to endure whatever nature dishes out. This giving Hoosier spirit will be needed over the next several weeks.

State Road 43 Being Overtaken by the Wabash River

I do want to leave you with some positive news. The Wabash River should start to recede in Lafayette today after a crest just over 22 feet early this morning. This is extensive flooding but it could have been a lot worse. The flooding will not be as bad as it was on the Wabash back in January of 2005. We didn't quite reach the threshold for a major flood event which is the best news of all. The water will slowly fall over the next few days so again make sure to heed all road closed signs and be patient. The Wildcat and Deer Creeks are also in good shape and should continue to quickly fall. The news on the weather front is also positive! Tune in tonight to find out why the rain back in your forecast should not aggravate the flooding. God bless and I will check back with you soon.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mike. Other volunteers are working tirelessly to help those in need. The good news for me today is hubby DID get both the furnace and water heater working last night! Now, being able to drink, and use, the water will be the next hurdle to resuming life as we knew it Monday morning.
Mary Anne in Remington

Anonymous said...

Thank you MaryAnn for helping us. We apreciate it greatly and cannot thank you enough. You have been an extreme help in many ways, especially making some deliveries for me on Monday. It really means alot this time of year. Thanks again. We love you!! Guess Who?