Individual FEMA Assistance Now Available to Pulaski and Starke County Residents Impacted by the Flooding

According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Individual Assistance from FEMA is now available to 13 more counties, including Starke and Pulaski.

Now that Starke and Pulaski counties are eligible for Individual Assistance, homeowners and renters whose primary residence was damaged by the flooding that occurred between February 14th and March 4th can apply for federal disaster assistance.

The funds are intended to cover uninsured losses for flood damages. Individuals are encouraged to register with FEMA before the deadline of Thursday, July 5th. Continue reading

FEMA Representatives Are Still Determining If Starke County Will be Granted Individual Assistance

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier is still waiting to hear back from FEMA representatives about individual assistance for the county.

When FEMA initially declared which counties were eligible for individual assistance for flood damage, Starke County was not included. However, Nier explained that was due to an error with the organization’s reporting app, not because the county didn’t need the help. Continue reading

Starke County EMA and EMS Directors Attend Briefing over FEMA Public Assistance

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier and EMS Director Travis Clary attended a briefing with FEMA representatives on Thursday in order to learn more about the public financial assistance that is available to the county to help with flood relief.

EMA Director Nier explained that in order to be eligible for public assistance, the county had to reach about $85,000 spent dealing with flood recovery. Nier said that number was not only reached, but it was surpassed, with close to $2 million spent during the immediate response. Continue reading

Community Group Aimed at Preparing for Future Natural Disasters Meets This Evening

Community members aimed at addressing needs during a natural disaster will be meeting this evening to establish some guidelines for emergency events.

The Starke County Community Organizations Active in Disaster group will be looking at future needs and reviewing some things that may have been overlooked during the most recent mass emergency when we experienced major flooding in February.

Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier, Starke County Council President Brad Hazelton and other officials will be obtaining and delivering information about where individuals can be adequately housed during a disaster, potential donation locations and establishing the chain of command for certain issues. Continue reading

Starke County Forest Access Improvement Work to Begin Soon

Work is expected to start soon on a new road and parking lot at the Starke County Forest. County Attorney Marty Lucas says an update on the project was given to the Starke County Park Board this week. “The project was delayed a little bit due to the flooding has kept Highway Superintendent [Rik] Ritzler very busy,” Lucas says, “and we hope to get that moving in the next few days.”

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Pulaski County EMA Director Updates Commissioners on Flood Response

The Pulaski County Emergency Management Agency is assessing damage and helping residents clean up from recent flooding. EMA Director Sheri Gaillard gave an update to the county commissioners Monday. “I gave out 3,250 sandbags to the Pulaski County citizens,” she said. “Both the gauges are finally down into minor flooding stage, but damage assessment is still ongoing because there were a lot of places that we couldn’t get to still, at least 10 that I can think of off the top of my head.”

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Possible Impact Flooding Could Have on Agriculture

Though much of the high water we were seeing last week has receded, you may have noticed that there are still several fields that are looking more like lakes recently.

Depending on when these flood waters clear up completely, Hoosier farmers may run into some issues this farm season.

Purdue Extension Agriculture Educator Phil Woolery mentioned that the severity of impact will depend on how long a farmers’ field stays underwater. He said fields that dried up rather quickly probably won’t have any issues, while those that are having trouble draining may run into some problems down the line. Continue reading

Knox Schools Superintendent Thanks Staff, Community Members for Flood Response Efforts

When recent floods threatened to force Knox residents out of their homes, school staff and local community members came together to make sure everyone had a safe place to stay. Knox Community Schools Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart issued a letter last week, publicly thanking those who helped with the schools’ flood response.

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Flooding Creates Headaches for Winamac Town Park

Entrance to the Winamac Town Park

The Town of Winamac is starting to clean up its park facilities, following recent flooding. Park Manager Dave DeLorenzo told the park board Thursday that the park office got nearly 14 inches of water, and he’s begun pulling out damaged insulation. Park Board President Courtney Poor expressed confidence that the town departments will work together to do what needs to be done.

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Knox Center Township and LaCrosse Volunteer Fire Departments Assist DNR With Rescue

Picture Source: Indiana DNR Law District 10 FB Page

On Sunday morning, members of the Knox Center Township Fire Department joined forces with the LaCrosse Volunteer Fire Department as well as DNR Conservation Officers to rescue an elderly individual from his home as floodwaters encroached.

Indiana DNR Law representatives from district 10 report that firefighters deployed a boat to rescue the resident and Conservation Officers deployed another boat as a secondary rescue vessel. Continue reading

UPDATED: Voluntary Evacuation Alert Announced Due to Expected River Surges

Starke County Emergency Management Officials have announced a voluntary evacuation alert due to a possible surge of flood waters affecting the Yellow and Kankakee Rivers over the next 24 hours.

UPDATE 8:00 p.m: Officials with Knox Community School Corporation are reporting that the temporary response site has been moved to Knox Middle School. Residents are asked to utilize the doors in the back by the bus parking lot (door #8). Additionally, the Red Cross has a site set up at Plymouth High School as well.

Residents in low lying areas near both rivers and those who live by any drainage ditches connected to the rivers are being advised that a shelter is being established at Knox Middle School should any residents feel it necessary to evacuate.

According to EMA Director J. Nier the areas in the City of Knox that may be affected include:

North side of Washington St from Sellers Ave to US 35
Sellers Ave North of John St
Parkview area: Residences West of Portland St
Ruthie Drive
Pacific Ave
North of Culver Rd between 200 East and 250 East. Continue reading

Starke County Flood Updates for Saturday

High water is still being reported in several sections of Starke County. Many area parks are remaining closed until further notice and major flooding has been confirmed around the Yellow, Brown and Kankakee River bridges as well as in areas near Bass Lake and English Lake.

Starke County EMA Director J. Nier is encouraging residents to submit damage reports through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website. Officials are collecting data to submit in order to potentially receive federal or state financial assistance with relief efforts. Any additional questions or concerns can be directed to Starke County EMA at 574-772-9182.

Starke County Highway Department representatives added there are few things that motorists can do can do to assist crews who are working on the flooding. Continue reading

Saturday Flood Updates for Pulaski County

Much of Pulaski County is still experiencing flooded conditions. Motorists are advised to use caution while driving and to respond accordingly to all posted signage regarding high water and closed roads.

The Pulaski County Highway Department shared yesterday that sandbags can be picked up at the Pulaski County EMA Office (112 E Main St #110 in Winamac) and sand to fill the bags is available at the intersection of 200 W and 50 North in Pulaski County. Continue reading