By Andrea McCann
Several people were forced from their homes by Eagle Creek and its feeders in the wee hours of the morning Friday, April 19.
Bonnie Sloan and four family members were among those taken to an emergency shelter. The family lives in a house at the center of Compton’s mobile home park at Fourth and Sycamore streets in Zionsville.
“We got woke up just after 3:00 this morning,” Sloan said. “The fire department and police were banging on our door.”
She said the water rose quickly and was ankle deep at their vehicle by the time they gathered some belongings to evacuate. She said the evacuation was voluntary at that time, but firefighters cautioned them that if the water continued to rise, they might not be able to get back in to make a rescue later if the Sloans became stranded.
Captain Doug Gauthier of the Zionsville Police Department said 17 houses in Cobblestone Lakes were evacuated, six houses and 16 mobile homes in the area of Fourth and Sycamore streets, one house on CR 300 S at the Eagle Creek bridge, and two residences near or on the golf course. He said some residents decided to stay with their homes, while others left voluntarily. Gauthier said about 30 people took advantage of the emergency shelter.
“We opened town hall as a shelter until the Red Cross arrived and they were able to open the Christian church,” he said.
Red Cross disaster assistance volunteer Bob Wesseler said several churches in the area are designated shelters, but the Zionsville Christian Church was the closest one for this flooding disaster. He said the Red Cross is on call 24/7 to provide a safe, warm place for displaced people to go until they can figure out what to do next.
“You have a wonderful restaurant here called Brunchies that served breakfast to everybody,” Wesseler said.
The Sloan family appreciated the breakfast, donated by Brunchies owners Larry and Jenny Hoover, and warm place to stay until they could get to Bonnie’s mother’s house in Lebanon later in the day. Sloan said the family was told it could be a couple days before they could get back into their home to evaluate their losses.
“We spoke to the landlady, and she said they’d take care of the house,” Sloan said. “As far as personal belongings, we don’t have insurance.”
Gauthier said the flooding is near record height. He said it’s the highest he and other officers have seen during their careers. He stressed that drivers should not attempt to drive through or around high water.
“It just takes a little water to be stranded, or if it’s moving water, to be pushed off the road and turned upside down,” Gauthier said.
He said emergency responders had rescued people from two vehicles Friday morning after the drivers attempted to drive through flood waters — one at CR 200 S and one at 96th Street.
No injuries were reported as of noon Friday. Gauthier praised the great working relationship among the Police, Fire and Street departments, town hall officials, Boone County Sheriff’s Office and Boone County Emergency Management Agency as a contributing factor to the safe evacuations and rescues.