UTICA, Ind. (WDRB) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb visited three flood-riddled counties Monday to see first-hand the damage caused.

On Saturday, Holcomb declared a disaster emergency for 11 counties after flash floods swept through southern Indiana. The emergency was declared for Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White Counties.

On Monday, Holcomb visited Clark, Jefferson and Dearborn Counties with Homeland Security Director Bryan Langley for a tour of flood damage.

At his first stop in Clark County, Holcomb visited Utica, where dozens of homes are under water. 

"Seeing is believing," Holcomb said about visiting flood-damaged towns. "There's no substitute for being on the ground."

The governor met with residents to hear what they are dealing with and what they need to help get through the issue. He also met with local officials to learn about response and recovery efforts.

"As fast as the water recedes, it can come back up again, and so safety first," Holcomb said. "Listen to your local leaders. We can rebuild, but we can't give you your life back."

One Utica resident the governor met was Joyce Morrison, 84. She is one of the oldest residents in her town. Morrison has experienced several floods in her lifetime, starting with the 1937 flood; she was 3-years-old.

"You come in, pack up, move out, wait until the water goes down, clean the house out, dry it out, move back," Morrison said about every flood she has lived through.

Although the water did not get in her home this time, she said no matter how many times her home floods and she is evacuated, she will always come back home. She said the small, close-knit community is and always will be home.

Another Utica resident, Jim Lanham, has only lived in the town since 2003, but says like Morrison, he too loves Utica.

However, on Monday he waited to find a boat to get to his home. He said the best part about the town is how much everyone is willing to help one another. Although he is nervous to see just how much water is in his home, he knows when the flood goes down, the community will come together to clean-up and get people back in their homes.

Holcomb recommends every Indiana resident with flood damage document it by taking pictures. 

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