Cleanup continues in flood-ravaged Salem, Indiana
The water levels have gone down and the flood damage is visible in Salem after heavy rains caused massive flooding in the small city Friday.
SALEM, Ind. (WDRB) -- The water levels have gone down and the flood damage is visible in Salem after heavy rains caused massive flooding in the small city Friday.
More than five feet of water tore through Danny and Pam Walton's business. The heating and cooling company is located just feet away from a creek that rose up from the rains.
"We lost everything,” said Danny Walton, who was inside the building when the water rushed in. "I noticed water coming up under the door, so I looked outside, and my pick-up was gone."
He made it out OK, but the high water sent the family's livelihood back down to just the studs.
"I was just amazed at how powerful it was and how much mud there was," Pam Walton said. "I didn't expect it to be like this.",” His wife Pam Walton said.
The Waltons are overwhelmed by the support from their community, who have stepped up to help them in their time of need.
"It's been a challenge,” Danny Walton said. “But we've had so many good people come and help, people we didn't even know."
The Waltons say they won’t take their tight-knit community for granted ever again. While they pile up the pieces of their business, cleanup continues throughout the rest of city.
Several local businesses remained closed Tuesday. Many of them were drying out and cleaning up trash. Utility workers from Duke Energy were working on power lines throughout the area Tuesday morning.
Salem Middle School was also closed Tuesday. The district’s website said it was due to a delay in receiving an air quality clearance report.
City officials say the flooding has left a big burden on the small city.
"It was really devastating to get six inches of rain in 45 minutes," said Greg Fitzloff, Salem's Director of Community Development. "You just don't prepare for that."
Before flood victims can get the financial help they need, officials must survey that damage.
"Right now, we're in the assessment process of trying to figure out what kind of damage we have, who's been impacted, what kind of impact they had,” Fitzloff said.
Several state and local officials were in the city Tuesday, including some from Homeland Security and the Department of Agriculture. Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch was also touring hard hit areas with a message for those affected.
"This is important to us, this is important to Indiana, and what we do is we rally around each other," Crouch said. "Hoosiers help Hoosiers, so this was important to be here today."
Crouch added it was important to the governor that she listen and learn from those affected to better come up with a plan of action.
It’s too early to tell if the area will receive federal assistance to cover the costs of clean up and damages, so the city has started an Emergency Flood Fund in the meantime. This will help collect and distribute donations to those in need quickly.
Mayor Troy Merry vows 100 percent of the donations will go directly to residents most effected.
To donate, you're asked to call 812-883-4265 or write a check to “2017 Emergency Flood Fund” and send it to 201 E. Market Street, Suite 101, Salem, IN 47167.
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