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home : local news : local news June 24, 2016

5/1/2013 10:48:00 AM
River-watchers now focusing on flood recovery
Hole in Indiana levee filled with nearly 4,000 sandbags over weekend.
The Pioneer City Arena in Palestine sits under floodwater Friday afternoon. Fort LaMotte Days went ahead over the weekend, although it was limited to the higher ground near the fort replica. (Graham Milldrum photo)
The Pioneer City Arena in Palestine sits under floodwater Friday afternoon. Fort LaMotte Days went ahead over the weekend, although it was limited to the higher ground near the fort replica. (Graham Milldrum photo)
‘Flood buckets’ being assembled

As Crawford, Clark and Lawrence County residents begin the messy task of cleaning up after the flood, one of the most helpful ways to help is with cleaning supplies. And the "flood bucket" is a good way to start.

To prepare a flood bucket, you need a five-gallon bucket with resealable lid; bleach in quart or gallon bottles; five scouring pads; seven sponges; one scrub brush; 18 cleaning towels (reusable wipes); liquid laundry detergent (two 25 oz. or one 50 oz. bottle); one household cleaner, 12-16 oz. bottle; one disinfectant dish soap, 16-28 oz. bottle; 50 clothes pins; clothes line (two 50 ft. or one 100 ft.); five dust masks; two pair latex gloves; one pair work gloves; a 24-bag roll of heavy-duty trash bags, 33-45 gallon (remove roll from box before placing in bucket); one insect repellent spray, 6-14 oz. can; one air freshener, 8 or 9 oz. can.

Flood buckets are needed for Hutsonville, Palestine, Old York and residents all along the Wabash and Embarras rivers. Several churches in Palestine and elsewhere are collecting items for the buckets, and they can be brought to the Pioneer Room at the Palestine Village Hall. In West Union, supplies and other items are being collected at area churches.

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Receding floodwaters have area residents switching from anxiety to dread as they wait for damage assessment and begin cleanup.

Palestine insurance agent Rad Burkett has been checking on clients and getting damage reports, but said he does not believe it is as bad as it could have been.

"We have some damage, but none that we can't recover from," he said.

Several homes have full basements that will just have to wait until waters recede enough to pump them out. Burkett said there was water where he had never seen it before, calling it "weird."

Burkett said residents who have flood insurance should be covered for any significant damage, but noted that some damage may not meet deductible levels.

Crawford County residents wanting to report flood damage or needing assessment can contact the Crawford County Emergency Management Agency at 546-5602. Crawford EMA Director Ken Pryor is asking residents to leave their name, contact number and address, and the agency will respond as soon as possible.

On the Indiana side, concerns over a possible levee break kept Route 154 between Hutsonville and Grayville closed over the weekend.

Sullivan County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Pirtle reported that a hole started to erode about a quarter mile east of the bridge Friday afternoon. Levee commission workers, 27 Department of Corrections inmates and more than 30 volunteers worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday to fill the hole with nearly 4,000 sandbags.

Pirtle said the main focus was to save the highway. If the levee had given way it would be months before the highway could be repaired. The Salvation Army was on hand to feed and water the volunteers and inmates while working on the levee.

Route 154 was scheduled to reopen at noon today.

Congressman John Shimkus is expected to be in the area later today, and will be surveying flood damage in the Old York area. He is expected to be at the Red Cross shelter at 106 S. Walnut, West Union, at 5 p.m.

The Wabash River is going down. It was reported to be at 26.5 feet at Hutsonville this morning and 25.57 feet at Palestine.

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