A South Bend family is still battling the flood's aftermath

NOW: A South Bend family is still battling the flood’s aftermath


SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Bethel College committed itself to helping families who were displaced. A year ago today Chris Elmerick, a flood victim, had to make a tough decision.

“At the same time we thought about, “Do we move right away,” says Elmerick.
Almost 90 years of inherited property, damaged and torn apart because of the devastating South Bend flood.

“It’s hard my great-grandparents had this property since 1930 and there’s never been any type of situation happen like this,” says Elmerick.
Chris Elmerick returned from a camping trip a year ago and did not expect the series of events that would unfold that night.

“We came outside and said, “What it’s just rain.” Walked two houses down and we already had 2 foot of water. Within an hour we had over 4 foot of water.”
Elmerick’s three and a half acres of land, submerged.
“It was definitely crazy,” he says. “At that point we were just trying to get the family and everyone safe that were in the apartments down the street.”

Four full seasons,365 days and Elmerick and his family have not yet received the financial aid they need to come back home.
“We were hoping to not be in temporary housing after a year. There is no clause there and so no coverage was to be given,” he says. “Now, we have never lived in a flood plain either so no one here had flood insurance.”

Elmerick says step one is getting the damaged homes, removed. His hope is to have everything ready by spring.
“Family was the most important just getting everyone out, everything else was just a material item and we’re still going through that now.”
Elmerick says total damage costs are around the $450,000 mark.

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