The Tippecanoe River near Ora reached near-record flooding levels as it crested at 14.65 feet; had the level been just more than a foot higher, it could have broken the record set in 2009. Fortunately, the river crested and is beginning to recede, but EMA Director Larry Hoover said the rains forecast later this week might cause it to rise back up again, so stay cautious. As of 2 p.m. yesterday, the river had lowered to 14.2 feet.
Hoover said when the river floods, there’s not too much they can do about it but recommend evacuation – not everyone likes the idea of that, however, and those who live close to the river typically know to be careful and stay aware. The flooding didn’t cause much damage, only a lot of inconvenience, and Hoover said they haven’t heard anything about residents dealing with property damage from the flooding.
“I haven’t had any reports of water in anyone’s homes up there. It’s more of an accessibility problem because they can’t get to their house so they’re staying with friends if they need shelter, or they stay in their house during the flooding. So it’s more of an accessibility issue than anything,” Hoover said.
The flooding tends to cover some roads in deep water, making it difficult to get in and out of the house without risking damage to vehicles. While the houses themselves didn’t flood, many roads to get to them became flooded from the rains.
With rain forecast in the near future, Hoover has some advice to travelers near the Tippecanoe River.
“If you see water, turn around and go back. We’ve already had to pull several vehicles out of roadways that have tried to go through standing water in the road. The big problem is you don’t know if the road is still there when you can’t see the roadway itself, so you’re taking a chance on there being no road and being washed out and being a lot deeper than you think it is,” said Hoover.