Elwood fights flooding after five inches of rain overnight
Elwood's mayor called it the worst flooding in nearly a decade. Some life-long residents say they've never seen their neighborhoods flooded like they are now.
The water is going down, but not fast enough for city officials and, more importantly, homeowners whose homes flooded during a torrential rain storm. Neighborhoods are knee deep in water. Five inches of rain dropped on Elwood, most of it overnight.
Vanessa Haitt was standing on her front steps and managing a smile even though her home is surrounded by water.
"I woke up about 5:30. The wind, the water was crazy," she said. "It was just nuts."
More than "nuts" - it was dangerous.
The usually shallow Duck Creek swelled into a block-wide river, running through the community. Early Friday morning, water rescue teams evacuated about 50 residents by boat. Others went door-to-door, telling people to leave.
"It's about the worst I've seen. About the worst it's ever been," said Rich Metz, who headed for higher ground.
Homeowners who have been through this before moved their valuables out of basements and off the floor, thinking they would be safe. But they didn't count on the water getting so deep so quickly. Some didn't have time to move their cars.
Joe Scholl sounded disgusted.
"I work all my life to get what we got and it just don't seem like we can hang on to it," he said.
Elwood Mayor Ron Arnold says the city has spent millions of dollars dredging, clearing and improving its storm drainage system and figured its flooding problems were over.
"Many thought we could handle what ever could come our way in the future. We found last night we could not," he explained.
The city canceled school. Concerned its water system may be compromised, as a precaution, residents are warned to boil drinking and cooking water.
Homeowners tell us they have no idea how much damage has been done to their homes and things they tried to keep above the rising flood waters. Some expect it will be days before they can get back in and begin cleaning up.