COMIN' UP... Water is on the rise in Adams County, including this area on SR 101 heading into Pleasant Mills near the St. Marys River, which can be seen in background. It is traditionally one of the first areas to flood. (Photo by J Swygart)
The St. Marys River was rising slowly in Decatur this morning, but already was beyond 21 feet, and the National Weather Service was predicting a crest of near 23 feet.
Jane Thieme at the city weather station said this morning that the St. Marys had risen nearly feet in the past 24 hours, standing at 21.2 feet at 7 a.m. today. The National Weather Service told officials here that a crest of 22.7 feet is expected by around 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Flood stage in Decatur is 17 feet.
The Wabash River at Linn Grove, according to Thieme, was at 12.8 feet last night; its flood stage is 11 feet. She said the weather bureau predicts the Wabash will crest at 13 feet at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Water was across US 224 near the Bellmont High School entrance/exit at sunrise today.
Temperatures dropped to a low of 21 degrees in Decatur this morning, helping to slow the runoff which is swelling the river, along with a 1.17-inch rainfall Sunday night/Monday morning.
The National Weather Service says no rain is expected in the Decatur area before Thursday night, and chances then are slim. Forecasters said today the next significant chance for rain is a 50 percent chance on Friday night and 60 percent Saturday, when there may be a rain/snow mix.
Sunny skies and a high near 45 degrees was seen for this area today, with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s expected through Saturday.
Some roads closed
That's the word Adams County Highway Superintendent Mark Mitchel used to describe the condition of an estimated 10 or 11 rural roads nearest the two rivers in the county due to flooding.
He urged caution and common sense when driving and said for people to simply stay out of the water.
Creeks and ditches are also full of water.
Worse in Jay County
The situation south of Adams County is far worse. Jay County Sheriff Ray Newton told the Muncie Star-Press that in his 42 years he had never seen anything like Monday afternoon in Jay County.
East Jay School in downtown Portland reportedly was surrounded by water and students were taken out of the building before the school day was over.
The Salamonie River was out of its banks in Portland before noon Monday and reportedly surrorunded the downtown jail.
"This has created a big mess," Newton told the Star-Press. "Basically, we couldn't get anyone in or out of the area by car, only with SUVs. We've spent the day filling sandbags, even had 10 inmates help fill the bags. I've never seen anything like this."
"None of us were prepared for this," Frazee said. "We weren't expecting the three and a half inches of rain at all. Last night, we thought the storm would miss us, but it didn't," Ralph Frazee, the Jay County Emergency Management director, told the Star-Press.
Several building in downtown Portland had standing water, including the office of Mayor Bruce Hosier.
Several vehicles were stranded in high water, a few people were evacuated from their homes and a shelter was opened in Portland by the Red Cross.