While flooded homes are evacuated, residents' concern turns to f - WDRB 41 Louisville News

While flooded homes are evacuated, residents' concern turns to flood looters and sightseers

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UTICA, Ind. (WDRB) -- Utica residents evacuated from their homes due to flooding are anxious to get back in, but many are worried flood looters might beat them there.

To help police keep an eye on things, Utica resident Rick Skees has moved out of his flooded home and is living in his truck with his two dogs. He said the conditions are not ideal, but he said it is difficult to find somewhere that will accept dogs. However, he is hopeful to get back to his home soon to start the cleaning process, which he is very familiar with.

"I bought the house in '98, a year after the flood, as is," Skees said about his first go-around with a flooded home. "Had to gut it, remodeled everything. Here it is 20 years later ... going to have to do it again."

The Clark County Sheriff's Office said they have heard of flood looters and understand residents are worried but want to assure the town they are keep a watchful eye on the area. Lt. Col. Scottie Maples said they have extra officers assisting Utica police to patrol the town. They are also trying to keep sightseers out of the area to give residents room to get back to their homes and begin cleaning.

Utica is not the only place with flood looter experience. William Ash, the mayor of West Point, Kentucky, said his city has seen flood looters in the past and will not tolerate them in the city. He said residents already have enough to handle and people stealing their belongings should not have to be one of their worries.

"We've had people that have tried to be out in boats or come in with cars and trailers and try to to do that," Ash said of burglars in past floods. "And I do know of one or two people who have been asked to leave the city who do not live here who had a trailer behind them."

Like Utica, West Point is also increasing police presence and ticketing any non-resident going around barricades. They hope to keep sightseers and flood looters far away from there city.

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