Salem awaits disaster funds 2 weeks after devastating flash flood

SALEM, Ind. (WDRB) -- Two weeks after flash flooding washed out dozens of businesses in Salem, the cleanup is far from complete.

Joe Kachnavage, the owner of Salem Lumber, says he has lost more than $75,000 in merchandise alone and is waiting for financial assistance.

“We cross our fingers every day and hope that we get some help from the state or federal,” Kachnavage said.

The store does not have flood insurance and saw water levels inside the business rise to just under six feet. Workers continue to clean mud from supplies that were scattered throughout the building.

Troy Merry, the mayor of Salem, said the city is waiting for the state to make a formal disaster declaration soon so the area can qualify for federal aid.

“They’re in the process of that,” Merry said. “Seeing what the total amounts and everything are, to see what that qualifies for.”

Tara Kritzer, marketing director for The Washington County Chamber of Commerce, said  the community support has been tremendous.

“I heard from some of the businesses they had 30 to 40 people showing up that very next morning with mop buckets,” Kritzer said.

The city of Salem has set up an official fund for donations to help with the recovery.

To make a donation call (812) 883-4265 or  send a check to this address: Emergency Flood Fund, 201 E. Market Street, Suite 101, Salem, IN 47167

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