Photo: Jim Avelis/Tribune-Star
Sandbagging efforts are underway to hold back Wabash River flood waters.
The river at one point crested at 27 feet in Terre Haute. The small Vigo County community of Dresser was hit particularly hard. Much of the area is covered in water, including houses and a church.
The community spent most of the day Monday sandbagging, trying to hold back the water.
Vigo County Emergency Management deputy director J.D. Kesler says the residents were encouraged to leave their homes, but most declined.
The river is receding but Kesler says there is still room for concern.
“It dropped, it looks like about 2.5 inches to 3 inches in the past twelve hours or so, so the crest has already come through,” he says. “Right now, the what obviously is a major concern is the rain that’s predicted to come in later this afternoon and into the night time hours.”
The major problems come from farther north, where water from the Lafayette area collects and comes down river.
The National Weather Service forecasts Terre Haute will receive up to another inch of rain tonight. Rain is also expected in the northern part of the state and that water will run south, which could cause the Wabash River to rise again.
A Red Cross shelter is being opened in Terre Haute for residents impacted by the flooding. Additional locations could be opened in other locations and counties based on need.
Cher Elliot, the media relations director for the Vincennes district of the Indiana Department of Transportation, says that the danger of the floods is still real. She anticipates seeing more road closures in the next few days.
“We encourage all motorists, especially during this time, to be alert. Never drive around barricades,” she says. “Do not drive through water across roadways, because you don’t know if the pavement has been washed away.”
Network Indiana contributed to this report.