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South Bend officials give update on flood damage

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – parts of the city of South Bend are still underwater after last week’s historic flooding.

Monday, city officials updated the common council on what’s ahead in South Bend’s road to recovery.

There have been 315 damage reports in the county, 180 of them were in South Bend alone.

And 17 parks and trails have been hit pretty hard by the floods.

Pinhook Park was barricaded off Monday as most of its space is still submerged.

“We don’t know the extent of the damage to date because of our parks and our trails systems are still underwater,” said Aaron Perry, Director of Venues, Pars and Arts. “There are various degrees of flooding but our parks and trails are probably the last thing to have water recede.”

That’s good news for the ducks of Leeper Park.

They roamed free outside their once-confined pond.

But it’s not-so-good news for the folks looking to get through the trail.

“We didn’t expect it to be this bad still here, it’s pretty flooded,” said park visitor Kayla Sowers.

Parks all around the river felt the brunt of an unforgiving rainfall last week.

The city says the river crested at about 12.7 feet Thursday morning.

The prior record was 10.9.

Monday, the St. Joseph River was down to 9.8 feet.

After being slammed by sewage, the city’s common council was concerned about the environment.

Public Works Director Eric Horvath confirmed Monday; most combined sewers were flowing into the river during this storm event.

“So they will have a high E.coli concentration which is a bacteria that will make people sick if they ingest it or something like that,” he said.

Part of that was because the waste water treatment plant had overflowed Wednesday and had to be shut down.

While it’s back online, parts are still operating underwater.

Horvath says it’s a bit too early to tell how much clean up and repairs will cost the city.

Officials are still waiting for water to recede in many areas around town before they can go over cost estimates and that might not be for another couple of weeks.

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