Mother Nature delivered another blow to Daviess County over the weekend with a torrential rain storm. The storm dropped up to 6 inches of rain, flooding roadways and creating havoc.
“The big problem with this rain was that the ground was already saturated from the melting snow earlier in the week,” said Paul Goss with the Daviess County Emergency Agency. “The cold weather during the week had also raised the frost line so the water didn’t go as deeply in the ground as normal.”
The worst flooding was at East Side Park in Washington. The park had to be closed and water crept up to homes at nearby Trail Breeze Kourt. No homes were damaged but water did flow underneath trailers.
“In the 30 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen the water this high,” Washington Mayor Joe Wellman said.
The runoff from the rain quickly filled small creeks, streams and ditches, covering roadways and creating some dangerous situations. “We had reports of cars swept off the road in three places,” said Daviess County Highway Superintendent Phil Cornelius.
“One of those resulted in police having to go out and rescue some people,” added Goss.
The Daviess County Sheriff’s Department had to rescue a vehicle on CR 1000N. Saturday, city police had to close portions of Main, Walnut and East Van Trees streets that were flooded, along with Lakeview and Glenwood drives and Bedford Road. On Monday, Memorial Avenue was still closed as a clogged spillway was opened and waters receded.
In Pike County, Conservation Officers rescued a man they found hanging onto a bridge abutment after flood waters knocked him off of his four-wheeler. Michael Christmas, 30, of Velpen was found about 100 yards into the flood waters. He told officers he was returning from work in Otwell when the water separated him from the vehicle. Authorities say Christmas had been in the water for about three hours Saturday night before he was rescued. He was taken to Jasper Memorial Hospital and treated for hypothermia, according to a report by the Associated Press.