Boone County drying out from flood

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Drying out.

We are hearing those two words a lot this weekend as people roll up there sleeves and get to work cleaning up in Boone County.

And that goes double for Florence Heath, who has lived most of her adult life in one house. She raised a family in that house, then watched her children grow up and move away. And for the past twenty years, she has lived alone.

As the flood surrounded her house, she said her son came for her, ''I called my son and said 'get down here quick!'" said Heath.

Sunday afternoon, she opened the doors to let the house dry out. Her newly-remodeled bathroom escaped serious damage. All of the carpet in the house has been taken out and will have to be replaced.

She laughs, "It was not very old, I will tell ya. I guess the Lord thought I needed new carpet," she said. He is doing my spring house cleaning."

This is not the first time Florence has had to clean up after a flood. She and her late husband bought the house in 1955.  That year's flood almost took the house. "The last time I had a flood, I had water up 28 inches in this house," she said.

The difference this time is what the flood took - her garage has been converted into an exercise room, and the machines may be ruined. But it is what she can't show you that is breaking her heart.

Heath found boxes of letters and cards from her children, soaked by the flood. "The worst thing, I did not cry, but one time when I opened some stuff I had stored, it had pictures and my kids cards they had made me in grade school. That is the only time I ever got sad about this whole deal, because you can not replace that," said Heath.

Floods come up quick and go down almost as fast.

Florence was lucky she does not have a basement like her neighbor across the street. Glen Grizzle has been toiling away in his basement shop for years, where sawdust soaked up the water. Box fans are working round the clock to dry things out.

Grizzle is an accomplished carpenter and through the years has made the final resting spot for him and his wife - custom caskets.  The upholstery in one is ruined.

Both Florence and Grizzle own their homes and, like many of the others on the street, do not have flood insurance.

The Department of Homeland Security is asking flood victims not covered by insurance to report their damages to local emergency management departments.

The sooner they do, the sooner Indiana can apply for federal disaster relief.