Heavy rains last week stranded drivers all over Noble County, leaving them sometimes inconvenienced by high water and sometimes endangered by it.
Noble County Sheriff's Department dispatchers received about 30 reports of water standing on roadways during and after the storm, which began Tuesday and went on through Wednesday. Many drivers chanced crossing the flooded areas, often in vehicles like SUV's and pickup trucks that they apparently thought were high enough to avoid getting stalled. All too often, they weren't.
A Chevy Trailblazer rolled over after hitting high water on SR 8, near CR 500E, at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Two occupants were checked out by EMS personnel, but did not require transportation to a hospital.
A minivan went out of control after hitting the same area, slid off the roadway, and ended up stuck in a muddy field.
In another case near Kendallville, a fire truck was used to tow an occupied SUV out of deep water. The driver tried to get through CR 1200E, near 850N, late Wednesday, and stalled her Chevy Tahoe in water that came up to the bumper. To avoid the danger of taking three children out of the vehicle while still in the water, Kendallville firefighters used a high bodied rescue truck to pull it to dry land.
Emergency responders got a scare in Green Township Wednesday morning when a vehicle was found almost completely submerged in water, and no one could tell whether anyone might be trapped inside. A County Highway employee found the 1996 Buick at 8:54 a.m., in high water near county roads 600S and 300E. Churubusco fire and police personnel and Noble County Sheriff's units responded, calling for boats from the Albion Fire Department and Indiana Department of Natural Resources. However, when the vehicle was removed it was discovered no one was inside; the driver had escaped after driving into the water, and for some reason didn't notify anyone that the vehicle was there.
In addition to all the flooded roads dotted with stranded vehicles, flood waters reportedly entered several homes, especially around lake areas. It caused a delay in reaching a patient who had called for medical assistance on Skinner Lake's Arthur Drive, because they house they were in was surrounded by at least three feet of water. Albion firefighters again brought a boat out to assist in reaching the patient.
EMS personnel also had to work their way around flood water to reach a patient on Hopewell Road.
Flooded homes were reported on the south side of Skinner, Knapp, and Big Lakes, and along Smalley Lake. The Noble County Emergency Management Agency provided sandbags to assist some of those homeowners, while the Red Cross also assisted. Orange Township firefighters helped sandbag a home along CR 600N, while officials also investigated home flooding in Avilla.
Some damage resulted to roads from the heavy rain, which washed out pavement on county roads 700E, 900N, and 200N, and on State Street in Kendallville. trees were felled on CR 75E near Albion, and on SR 5, and rising water flipped over a propane tank near Merriam. Witnesses reported a geyser of water coming from a manhole near Oak Street in Albion.
No serious injuries were reported in any of the incidents, but the danger remained as local lakes and streams weren't expected to crest until later in the weekend. Drivers stranded in flooded areas of road were reported as late as Friday morning.
A car drives through flood waters on State Highway 8 Wednesday, March 11. This wasn't the worst of the four flooded spots on the highway, and there were some places on county roads where cars ended up almost completely submerged. There was an epic lack of common sense among some of these drivers.
Flood water surrounds homes on the south side of Skinner Lake.
At one time this trailer was a nice little lakeside vacation place, but after decades of flooding you can see the corrosion starting to cover it.
the Noble County Jail was actually built on a swamp, so a retention pond was added nearby to collect excessive rainwater -- and we got plenty of that. (Yep, taken from the car.)
Similarly (and also taken from the car), the East side of the Central Noble School campus in Albion is a swampy area. There used to be a lake there every year, until a storm drain was installed in the area, but the drain was overwhelmed by this one. In the distance to the left is the high school parking lot, now partially underwater; the building at the left is a the Asbury United Methodist Church. The black line marks the location of a newly installed water main, which goes off into the distance to the construction site of Albion's new water tower.