DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – An emergency shelter opened Thursday afternoon in Decatur for use by people who have decided to leave their homes because of flooding.
The situation prompted Mayor John Schultz to sign a disaster emergency declaration because the situation poses “an immediate threat to health, safety and welfare of numerous City residents.” City officials will apply for state and federal assistance to help local agencies and disaster relief efforts. The declaration will remain in effect until the St. Marys River recedes below flood stage or for a period of seven days, whichever comes first.
The river is about two feet shy of its record flood level and it has not yet crested.
According to a spokesperson with the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, 20 homes in the Stratton Park area are being encouraged to evacuate. The organization is setting up a shelter at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church located at 414 Madison Street.
People coming to the shelter are urged to bring pillows, personal hygiene products, and any medications they regularly take.
The Pizza King at U.S. 224 and Limberlost Trail was surrounded by sandbags Thursday and two pumps were trying to keep water out of the basement.
“It seems to be taking it out as fast as it’s coming in,” owner Steve Christner said. “It’s a big hit. Flood insurance will take care of stuff, but there’s loss of income and still bills to pay.”
He was able to find a refrigerated trailer and transfer all the food in his coolers out.
“We got a lot of product in there getting ready for the weekend, so we don’t want to lose it,” he said.