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River crests at 23.3 feet – Slight receding begins; students offered shuttles

January 15, 2013

An SUV is nearly submerged in flood waters on CR 300 West, just south of the Humpback Bridge east of Linn Grove, on Monday afternoon. The driver was able to safety exit the vehicle. (Photos by J Swygart)

    Little has changed overnight in the fight against the latest flood to hit Decatur, although the St. Marys River crested overnight at 23.31 feet feet, one of the highest levels ever recorded here.
    The crest came at 9:30 p.m., city weather station officials reported, and the river began slightly receding. At 7 a.m. today, it stood at 22.99 feet.
    US 224 and Jackson St. in the area of the Bellmont High School entrance/exit remained closed this morning, along with E. Monroe St. The latter was closed around 11:15 a.m. Monday.
    "Everything is mostly holding its own," city Street/Sanitation Superintendent Jeremy Gilbert said this morning, "although it (the river) appears to be receding slightly. We will continue to monitor both areas throughout the day, and we're also checking the icing situation."
    The temperature stood at 18 degrees at 7 a.m., creating some slick areas on streets.
    North Adams, as it had done on a previous occasion, set up school buses in the Chamber of Commerce parking lot, offering students the option of shuttling to the school. The buses were going out Monmouth Road to Piqua Road, then entering the school grounds through the Piqua Road entrance to the middle school.
    Meanwhile, another rescue was performed this morning with a woman being taken from her car on a county road east of Monroe, not far from SR 124.
    At one point early Monday afternoon, five vehicles were stranded in high water, four of them on county roads and one in Decatur. One of the vehicles was nearly submerged on CR 300W east of Linn Grove (see photo), but the driver was able to get out and go to safety.
    The National Weather Service continues to say no precipitation is expected through at least Saturday.
    Highs in the Decatur area are forecast to remain in the low to middle 30s through Friday, with lows in the low to middle 20s.
    The Associated Press reported that the heaviest rain central and southern Indiana have seen in two years sent water cascading over roads and into buildings, killing a Ball State University student and trapping at least one couple in their home.
    Two to five inches of rain fell Saturday and Sunday, causing moderate flooding along parts of the White River and smaller streams, according to the National Weather Service, the AP said. Freezing temperatures Monday night left several inches of ice on flooded roads.
    ‘‘Our streams are running at the highest levels of some time; it’s been a few years,’’ said Mike Ryan, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.
    Part of State Road 26 in Grant County flooded late Sunday, leading to the death of a 19-year-old Ball State freshman. Blake A. Taylor, of Kokomo, was on his way back to school when his car hydroplaned and flipped into a ditch filled with four to five feet of water. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
    In Shelby County, a water rescue team used an inflatable boat to bring a couple and their two dogs to dry ground after water surrounded their home, WISH-TV reported. Another family from the area sought shelter from the American Red Cross after their home flooded with 10 inches of water.


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