WHITLEY COUNTY -- Many local residents are still trapped behind flood waters, others are starting to clean up the damage and debris while some still fear more flooding is headed this way.

State and local officials continue to monitor flooding conditions from last week's severe weather event as heavy rain continues in the Tri-County.

When Ed and Diana Woods of Williamsburg built their home on Croley Bend Road, they knew they were in a flood area and they were told it needed to be built 6 feet and 8 inches from the ground.

Woods, who is retired from the railroad industry and has a knack for construction, selected a beach house design style home to construct and ended up building it up nine feet above ground.

He said he's glad he went up a few extra feet because when you go under the interstate bridge further in the Croley Bend area, there are several homes under water.

The space under their beach style home is used for storage and parking their vehicles. On Saturday the water was under the house and things were beginning to look bad.

Woods' son came over to help, bringing a kayak. Woods used the kayak to retrieve a Jon boat and moved the vehicles to higher ground. Woods and his wife have spent the past several days getting from the house to their vehicles via Jon boat.

Taking things with a sense of humor, Woods said someone his age doesn't need to be getting in and out of a kayak.

Saturday night, Woods had to use the boat to rescue his rabbits, adding they were scared and not very cooperative.

Several items that were under his house have floated away. He can see a Christmas tree just down the way, hanging from a tree.

Woods praised Whitley County Judge Executive Pat White Jr. and Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison, saying they've been great keeping community members informed during the inclement weather.

"It's sad, but I really am blessed," Woods said, as the flood water near Croley Bend continues to recede.

Robert Miller lives in Dal and witnessed first-hand the water's destruction on the ground beneath the railroad. And although his home is seated up on a hill and hasn't been threatened by the water, he and his family have been trapped by that water since Thursday--the day they'd planned to go to the grocery.

Miller drives down daily to check the water, seeing if he thinks it's passable.

"When the levy (the ground beneath the railroad) broke, it let an additional three feet of water in," said Miller.

But Miller is keeping good spirits and is thankful for his friends Ed Woods and Garrett Elmore, who boated over with groceries for his family. Miller said this is some of the worst flooding he's ever seen.

"We haven't let it bother us," Miller said.

Kathy Lay and her husband, Cleo White, are trying to stay positive too. But as the torrential rains ripped into their basement picking up and overturning their appliances, it can be challenging.

"It came up all at once," said Lay, who lives in the Redbird community.

Lay left work Thursday at noon after her husband sent her a picture of what their property looked like. The water came in through the sides of their walls. It came in fast. It picked up her washing machine and threw it down.

As the flooding continued and while assessing everything, Lay said at that time there just wasn't much she could do about it. Before long, there was a rescue mission underway to get their dogs out of the barn. Although a bit stressful, it was successful.

Thursday and Friday they battled the water. Lay, who is an avid bike rider, found her bicycles caked in mud. She was able to clean and oil them enough to save them.

With a blanket of mud covering her basement, Lay is preparing to clean and remaining thankful.

"There's a lot of people with flooded houses and that's mentally tough," she said. "I know a lot of people have lost more than I have."

Woods shared similar sentiments.

"Everything that we have doesn't make a difference," said Woods. "We've lost a lot of stuff in this but we've been safe through it all. The Lord has blessed us."

React to this story:


Recommended for you