Homeowners in Blackford County Clean Up After Record Flooding

Published 08/27 2014 02:18PM

Updated 08/27 2014 02:35PM

Families and businesses across central Indiana are still cleaning up after last week's record flooding. 

If you recall, some parts of Hartford City received more than 10 inches of rain in a 24 hour period.

Several families are now saying the County should have been more prepared for the disaster.

WFFT's Tara Petitt was in Blackford County speaking with homeowners who say they've lost everything.

"I've never seen it flood like this.  I seen it go from no flooding to 40 inches of water in less than an hour and a half."

Earl Gerstorff owns the business K&E Enterprises in Montpelier, Indiana.  His business and his family's home was destroyed from flooding and a fire that's cause is still to be determined.

"I don't have no insurance at all.  Nothing.  We've lost everything."

Gerstoff was taken to the hospital with high levels of carbon monoxide after being left inside his burning home.

"My wife literally had to beg the fire department to come in and get me.  They were going to leave me there to die."

What upsets the family even more is pictures posted in the Blackford County Newspaper of empty pizza boxes in front of the flooded home that was still on fire.

"If they wouldn't have been standing up there eating pizza, rather than back here fighting a fire, we would've still had a building standing there."

"It ruined our furniture, it burned out our new air conditioner, we don't know about our heater yet, about $10,000."

Beth Wall's home in Hartford City was also affected by the flooding.  She says usually the city takes the grates off of the sewers when a flood is coming, but they failed to do so this time around.  WFFT tried contacting the City about the grates but they were unavailable for an interview.

"Had the grates been off and the cages up and they have been prepared for the storm like they usually are, I think we would have had no flooding in this area."

Nearly a foot of water was in the Wall's lower levels of their home.

"It was up to here on the furniture and it's still damp.  We had water up to the second step."

Blackford County EMA Director, Aaron Henderson, says not enough damage was reported for the County to receive government assistance.  The City will pick up anything left at the curb for disposal.

"They was announcing this was an abandoned building.  That was my business and my home! It wasn't abandoned!"

Gerstoff says he and his family will pick up, rebuild, and recover from last week's horrible storm.

"I will continue.  I'm not giving up."

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