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Elkhart expects extensive damage, recovery process begins

ELKHART, Ind.-- As the rain lets up, and the floodwaters begin to recede, people are now trying to estimate the costs of flooded homes, basements, and streets. 

The loud groan of water pumps echo across McDonald Street in Elkhart.

So does the sound of water, pouring out of peoples homes.

"I had 6-8 feet of waster in my basement, and we're still pumping it out. It's only halfway down," says Brenda Roberts.

Her home rests just across the street from Studebaker Park, which is nestled in between her neighborhood, and the Elkhart River. 

The river flooded all across the park, and through her entire neighborhood.

After pumping water for almost two straight days, Roberts took ABC57 News inside her flooded home. 

Water, at least waist deep, fills her basement still. 

"I've lived in this house for almost 18 years," she says. "Never. Never in 18 years did I believe the water would come to my front door."

She's still in shock. 

"You see it on TV, on the news," explains Roberts. "In Texas and other states... but Elkhart?"

She doesn't even know what she'll find, when the water is finally out of her home.

"[I'm] sick to my stomach," Roberts says. 

It's a feeling felt across Elkhart County.  A feeling of dread.

Emergency Management crews aren't sure what to expect or how much it'll cost to clean up the flood damage.

"It will be pretty extensive, especially for the areas that have been underwater for several days," says Emergency Management Deputy Director, Michael Pennington. 

The county has just entered the "recovery process," of the historic flood. 

Right now, it's a lot of waiting for floodwaters to recede, and gathering information, so that they can pinpoint a game plan cost estimates.

"We're just getting initial reports," Pennington says. 

In this trying time for Elkhart County, Pennington believes there's still much to be grateful for.

"There's a lot of loss, yes, but a loss of life was not one of them, and that's something to be thankful about," he explains/ "We will recover at the other end of this, in one way, shape, or form."

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