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Columbus Officials Struggle to Commemorate Historic Flood

As the one year anniversary of historic flooding in southern Indiana approaches, officials in Columbus, one of the hardest-hit communities in the state, are pondering how to mark the occasion.

The group of Columbus and Bartholomew County officials is trying to strike the right chord.

“We are hoping to accomplish an end,” said Judy Jackson, director of the Columbus Department of Community Development.

“You know, it’s been a long year. There are some people who have not yet recovered. People still out of their homes. And so it isn’t not over for everyone. But we would sort like to put a period on it. It’s the first anniversary. We commemorate the anniversary. And then we move forward.”

The group solicited suggestions from the community and most of them have been simple…ranging from marking the high water mark on a local bridge or erecting a plaque, to perhaps, nothing at all.

“We’re thinking about things so small as having church bells ring at 5 o’clock or keeping our porch lights on. We certainly didn’t want any type of celebration. Not an event we would want to happen again.”

The committee has no budget and would have to find funding if plans required any money. The floods, which resulted in two deaths in Bartholomew County, caused more than one billion dollars in damages statewide, according to estimates. Twenty-nine southern Indiana counties were declared disaster areas.

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