Madison County resident expresses frustration over persistent drainage issues


MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) - Several times a year, flooding closes a stretch of County Road 700 North just east of State Road 37. It got so bad Sunday, a motorist had to be rescued from the frigid waters.

“We were worried when we saw the truck sitting out there," said homeowner Christy Falink. “I have never seen it this bad where a truck was almost all the way under water. We didn’t know if the driver was still in there and we saw a boat out there.“

She said the "road closed" signs go up as many as five times a year. This time of year, when it rains for days, melting the snow and ice, the road becomes impassable.

And it’s not just road flooding.

(Photos: Christy Falink)

Because of bad drainage, Falink said, the woods around her Elwood-area home are almost always wet. Her basement has flooded twice. The counselor, who uses horses in therapy, says the resulting wet pastures have affected her practice.

“We cannot grow our program because we can’t add horses. This past year, even when there is no flood, the grass is not usable.The horses don’t eat it.“

The issues affect her neighbors, too. Madison County Surveyor Tom Shepherd is sympathetic.

“I’m concerned about all the people and I feel sorry for them. It is not just an overnight process to get this taken care of," Shepherd said.

Shepherd said property owners have to petition for the drainage improvements and agree to pay a fee. He says he hopes to take this project and four others to the county drainage board for approval.

”It’s frustrating," Falink said. "Now we have a contractor telling us we have to get out of this house because it’s only going to get worse."

Shepherd says most of its drains in the area are functioning well, and if this project was approved, completion could be a year away.

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