INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Heavy rains that dumped more than half a foot of rain overnight triggered widespread flooding Friday in some central and northern Indiana counties.
State police temporarily closed a swamped section of Interstate 69 in both directions near Marion, but reopened the highway by late morning, Indiana State Police Sgt. Ron Galaviz said. No stranded motorists were reported or injuries were reported, he said.
That area, between Fort Wayne and Muncie, has had the heaviest rain totals, according to the National Weather Service, which issued flash flood warnings for several counties.
“Mother Nature’s in charge of this thing, like it or not,” Galaviz said.
Blackford County emergency management director Aaron Henderson said the county just north of Muncie had at least 8 inches of rain. The rural county’s school district canceled classes for the day, with Henderson citing numerous flooded roads. Drivers are being asked to avoid nonessential travel. He said some homes and buildings were flooded although no injuries were reported.
“We’re seeing water standing in areas we’ve never seen water stand before,” he said. “There’s just nowhere for it to go.”
While checking the schools early Friday morning, Blackford County Schools Superintendent Scot Croner said he found a man wading hip deep in water near the junior high school in Hartford City and gave him a lift home.
“I felt bad for the guy,” Croner said.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings Friday morning for Grant, Blackford, Jay and sections of nearby Wabash, Huntington and Wells counties.
The weather service said seven to 10 inches of rain had fallen in eastern Grant and Blackford counties, with up to seven inches falling since midnight. It said runoff from the rain could cause flash flooding through midday.
A Grant County dispatcher said deputies rescued a few stranded motorists overnight.
In Marion, Deputy Police Chief Cliff Sessoms said there was little flooding but that problems could occur near the Mississinewa River as the waterway rises due to the heavy rain.