Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 19, 2013

Rain, rain, go away

Hendricks County battles flooding

By Steven Penn — Hendricks County was bombarded with torrential rainfall several times throughout the week, most recently from a storm that blew through Indiana Thursday night and into Friday morning.

The National Weather Service estimates total rainfall in Hendricks County from April 16 to 19 to be 6 inches or more, leading to flooding, which prompted road closures and turned many areas into impromptu lakes.

Hendricks County Highway Department Superintendent Curt Higginbotham said the department had to close numerous county roads.

“In the north end of the county, County Road 200 North east of (C.R.) 600 East is closed (due to high water). That’s by White Lick Creek,” he said. “C.R. 250 E. south of C.R. 601 N. is closed, that’s due to some road damage caused by previous high water. We’ll have to fix the road there. (Also C.R.) 1000 N., west of State Road 267 is closed due to high water and that’s there underneath the railroad tracks that are just west of S.R. 267.”

Higginbotham said he saw a lot of the same in the south part of the county.

“In the south part of the county there are just numerous roads closed here and there,” he said. “Probably, (C.R.) 800 S., west of S.R. 267 is the biggest closure and bits and pieces of Tudor Road and (C.R.) 1000 South are also closed due to high water.”

The next step, Higginbotham said, is after the water goes down to inspect the roads for damage, which is caused by the force of the water on the roadway.

“If we can repair the damage right away, we will,” he said. “Otherwise we’ll have to close the road until we can get to it to make the repairs.”

Another important job for the department is making sure roads that aren’t flooded are clear, Higginbotham said.

“We’re also working on a lot of log debris on bridges throughout the county,” he said. “In our rural areas we plow off a lot of corn stalks ... where the corn stalks wash out into the road, that’s another thing we’re doing this morning.”

Higginbotham said he’s had crews out since midnight Thursday night and into Friday morning.

“We were out since midnight, at least partially just putting up signage so people know there is water over the road,” he said.

“That’s about all we can do, to let people know that water is over the road and then hopefully they will heed the signage and not drive through the water, which is the smart thing to do. We probably had a dozen guys out since midnight, of course we’ve had our full force since about 6 a.m. (Friday).”

Higginbotham said the main thing for people to remember is to not try to drive over flooded areas.

Area resident Amy Atkins Hayden told the Hendricks County Flyer via Facebook that high water has flooded her basement.

“My basement is flooded,” she wrote, “about six inches. (I’m) drying out with (a) shop vac and fan. Hauling stuff out to dry or to be trashed. (The) sump pump failed and we didn’t hear the alarm.”

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