This is an update on weather related issues as of 7:30 AM, Saturday, August 25, 2007:
Indianapolis Boulevard (US 41) south of the I-80/94 was closed at about 4 AM this morning due to high water. It appears the levee broke on the north side of the Little Calumet River letting water flow into the grounds of the new Cabala’s store and the former Kmart site in Hammond. The flooding is still west of the center line of Indianapolis Boulevard in Highland; Wicker Park Estates Subdivision is dry.
I-80/94 is closed in both directions from Kennedy Avenue to Cline Avenue. Water standing on I-80/94 at Kennedy Avenue appears to be higher than yesterday despite the work of two very large pumps INDOT is using to pump the water into the Little Calumet River. Truck traffic from I-80/94 is being diverted north on 169th Street in Hammond from Calumet Avenue to Cline Avenue; other vehicles from I-80/94 are detoured south on Ridge Road in Munster and Highland from Calumet Avenue to Cline Avenue. Traffic is very heavy on these local routes.
The Little Calumet River level rose to about 6” below the Kennedy Avenue Bridge; the level dropped a bit when storm water began flowing into the area north of the river on both sides of Indianapolis Boulevard.
The Little Calumet River water level was still about 18” below the overflow spillway at Liable Road at 6 AM this morning. It appears the elevation of the Kennedy Avenue Bridge is lower than the spillway at Liable Road. I confirm an observation made by Rex Burton, “It appears the Kennedy Avenue Bridge will flood over before the water level reaches the top of the spillway”.
Interior flooding in Highland is occurring at Spring Street south of 45th Street where the Spring Ditch has overflowed. Flows within the Cady Marsh Ditch and the Hart Ditch are still within their banks.
All interior storm and sanitary sewer pumps are working properly this morning, including the new pump station at North Drive.
Update from the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana
The American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana is currently supporting municipal-opened shelters in multiple locations.
The Broadmoor Apartment complex in Merrillville has been evacuated to a municipal shelter established by the Merrillville EMA at the Merrillville Municipal Center; approximately 50 people projected at this point in time. Medically fragile elderly were evacuated straight to Methodist Hospital.
The Riverside Trailer Park in Lake Station Indiana has just been condemned by Lake Village government, and 64 families are under a mandatory evacuation order, with a municipal 60-bed shelter site set up at the Lake Station VFW. It has been reported that a trailer home was seen floating down the river. This trailer park is at the confluence of the Deep River and the Little Calumet River which are both flooding at that location.
The City of Dyer has completely evacuated St. Margaret of Mercy Hospital and their associated nursing home to other area hospitals. Three small Dyer subdivisions have been evacuated to a 50-100 bed shelter opened by the Town of Dyer.
Feeding was accomplished yesterday evening by the donation of food from a number of restaurants, local stores, and churches. Red Cross will have to step in to feed shelter residents when donated food and meals runs out; the focus is on raising additional meals from area sources first.
The American Red Cross has invoked their mutual aid agreement with the St. Joseph Chapter of the American Red Cross, and they are sending additional cots and blankets this evening, and one of the Hummer Volunteers Disaster Assessment Teams.
Anyone who is able to donate food, supplies, money or any other type of service would be greatly appreciated. If you or anyone you know is able or willing to help, please contact Gordon Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer at the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana. You can reach him by phone at (219) 756-5360 or through their office located at 791 East 83rd Avenue in Merrillville.
What ways can you contribute to the relief effort in the area?