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Gov. Holcomb declares disaster emergency for 11 Indiana counties

The declaration allows emergency management to mobilize resources for flood damaged communities.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Governor Eric J. Holcomb has issued a disaster emergency for 11 Indiana counties hit by widespread flooding caused by sustained heavy rainfall.

The governor signed an executive order to include Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White counties. The emergency declaration could be expanded to include other counties in coming days since more rain is hitting the southern part of the state.

The disaster declaration means the state Department of Homeland Security can take action to provide expanded emergency services and is a step the state must take before it can federal disaster help.

The State Emergency Operations Center was activated Thursday morning and has assisted counties by coordinating the delivery of over 700,000 sandbags, two water pumps, heavy equipment, traffic control, drone photography and labor.

The Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Corrections, Indiana National Guard and the American Red Cross have also stepped up.

Gov. Holcomb toured Elkhart and St. Joseph counties on Friday after rain dating back to Thursday, Feb. 15 reached record levels through Wednesday, Feb. 21.

He will return from the National Governor’s Association meeting in Washington D.C. Sunday and tour more parts of the state affected by recent weather.