Preparing for possible flooding
PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- Plymouth has been prone to destructive flooding before. Two years ago, the floods here destroyed homes, closed down businesses and affected the community for months after.
"I cant believe we’re having a flood warning in the middle of January," says Stephani Strohl an employee at Lodge Bakery off of Lincoln Highway in Plymouth.
Because it may seem early, but there is no denying it—rain is coming.
Clyde avery, marshall counties emergency management agency director says he has been monitoring the national weather service site and that 15 foot crests are in the forecast for this weekend.
"When we start to see something like a flood event occur there’s enough advanced notice we can start making preparations.”
And after the historic flooding they saw in 2018—the county is doing everything they can to prepare.
Avery says, "We’ve talked with the highway department and are in the process of setting up high water and road closed signs because we know we’re going to have issues with some water over roadways. We’ve also made sand and sand bags available.”
And Stephani Strohl is thankful for these preventative measures, "We have sand bags prepared and we are just living in a prayer and hoping everything turns out okay.”
Strohl currently works at lodge bakery and remembers the devastation, "It was really kinda devastating to see people’s homes being washed away.”
And what had to be done to repair businesses all over town, including pumping out inches of water from the coffee shop.
Strohl says, "We’ve done a lot of restructuring around here because of that. I mean I don’t think anyone saw it coming it was record breaking floods.”
But while the weather blew in chaos, Strohl says that compassion was right on its coattails.
"It wasn’t like ooo sorry for you, it was hey what can I do to help you.”
And Andrew Fitzpatrick, the CEO Boys and Girls Club Marshall County says, “So I know when the city talks of lots of rain everybody starts to panic on this street and they start thinking okay what’s going to happen we hope it doesn’t get too bad.”
Because in 2018-it was bad.
Roads, homes and businesses all over Plymouth and Michiana were experiencing torrential down pours and flooding.
While Fitzpatrick was not at this specific branch in 2018, he says the stories he hears and the pictures he has seen of the flooding and what he remembers from flooding in Elkhart— are reason enough for the community to be preparing.
However, after working in Plymouth for over a year now, Fitzpatrick tells me he is impressed with how Marshall County and the community has prepared for whats coming next.
Fitzpatrick says, "Of course everyone is still talking about the previous flood. And the good thing is I was totally impressed with this community and how they’ve put plans together for the next time this happens. So I believe everybody’s ready for this. And they hav e Allan in place, where to help families, where families can go for help and assistance and I’m really proud to be here because that makes you feel good about the community.”
Fitzpatrick and his staff tell ABC57 that they plan to keep an eye out all weekend on their own and their neighbors facilities to make sure that they are fairing the storm well, and that no major damage is evident.