Flooding still causing troubles

·3 min read

Aug. 5—While most of Washington has picked up the pieces of severe flash flooding last month there are some people who are still trying to put things back together again.

"Our home was submerged in water up to the third row of siding. I measured 25 inches on our fence. Our air conditioning unit outside was submerged. It completely filled our crawl space. The duct work has to be completely replaced," said Candace Crawford who lives at the corner of Northwest Sixth and Hefron streets. "I have been speaking with three other families who sustained severe damage from this storm, a lot worse damage than we experienced."

Crawford says the night of July 23 was one filled with anxiety as she and her children watched the water and tried to decide whether to evacuate with three children.

"We were watching the water rise. We could see a manhole that was spewing water several feet into the air," said Crawford. "We had already moved our cars to a spot up the hill. We were watching the water trying to decide if we need to leave. I was wearing really tall boots and the water went over my boots as we left the house with the children because the water was rising so quickly. We were very nervous watching the water rise."

The Crawford's were not the only people impacted by the torrential storm that impacted residents in the area of the Carnegie Library and Frette Energy.

"These are families with very young children. The only thing done so far is to activate the 211 to gather information. It is not even an application for any kind of assistance," said Crawford. "There have been tens of thousands of dollars to these homes, and people seem to be unaware of what is actually going on."

Washington Mayor David Rhoads says he is aware of the problem that was the result of a lot of water coming down on the city in a short amount of time.

"We are going to look at it, but it was a seven-eight-inch rain in a short period of time. We had flooding all over town," said Rhoads. "We will put a camera in there (storm sewer) and look at it and see if there are any problems."

Daviess County Emergency Management Agency Director Scott Myers said that while the county is no stranger to big rains, the one in July was exceptionally large and fast.

"It is a pretty rare event to get a rain like that. We have had six-inch rains before, but they came over a longer period of time. It has been several years since we have seen anything like that," said Myers. "It was just a lot of rain and with the roofs and concrete surfaces it doesn't have a place to go."

Crawford says she wants to see the city and the community take some action to help those hit by the flooding and find ways to stop that kind of damage in the future.

"I would like to see the community do something about this flooding and those who were hit by it recover and have safe homes for our families to live in that are mold free and so they can live without fear of flooding," said Crawford.

Local officials say they are looking to try and come up with a way to help those residents still struggling with the flash flooding.

"We're looking into it. We are trying to get them some help if it is possible," said Rhoads. "It comes back to the assessments by the state and the dollar figure and things like that."

"We are still collecting damage reports on the 211 websites. We are still waiting to see what that might be," said Myers. "SBA loans are a possibility. There is not an emergency relief fund on the state level to pass out money like FEMA does and it does not look like we will have enough damage to meet the federal thresholds."