flood aftermath

Photo by Gregory Myers

The aftermath of the flash flooding in Kentland can still be spotted along town streets.

KENTLAND — A lot of Kentland residents are still cleaning up from the major flash flooding that hit the town hard June 27.

Many of those homeowners are under a cloud of uncertainty as they are without flood insurance since most of the town is not in a flood plain.

Some homeowners have been turned down by contractors to do cleanup and much-needed repairs because they are not sure the insurance will cover the costs.

One of the hardest hit properties in town was the home of Loyd and Verna Marcum on Allen Street.

“We had two feet of water in one of our garages and 3.5 feet in the other one,” said Verna. “Our main floor had more than two inches of water in it, and we lost two cars due to the flooding.”

The couple, who are both in their 70s, hope that their home can be repaired but have already been denied by their insurance.

“They told us that they will not pay for damages because we are not in a flood zone,” added Verna. “And it’s just not us, a lot of people in town have been denied by their insurance as well. We have lived here for 51 years and we have never gotten water in any of our buildings before. We had to be rescued out of our home. We wanted to get flood insurance but State Farm wouldn’t sell it to us because we weren’t in a flood zone.”

The Marcums are hoping to get assistance from FEMA and Red Cross, but as of now, they are staying in a camper in their driveway.

“The good news is our car insurance will pay, and we have a rental car right now,” added Verna. “The town has also been great in picking up debris for us.”

The Town of Kentland has been reaching out to various organizations and state leaders to help assess the damage and find out what steps need to be taken.

“As we navigate through the recent flooding, we are working non-stop to get answers and to disseminate as much information to those affected,” said Kentland Town Council President Mike Rowe. “Information is regularly posted through the Town’s Facebook page, website, and through our mass alert system (blackboard connect). The sites contain a one-page Information Guide that details local assistance programs, donation collection and drop off locations, shelter assistance for displaced families, debris collection, and other local resources. We are working closely with the Newton County Emergency Management to find answers for available funding sources with the State. We have been in communications with both state and federal representatives and State Senator Rick Niemeyer traveled through Kentland with us to see the damage first hand. We are asking for those that have not already entered their information into the www.in211.org website please do so as soon as possible, as we are ready to move toward the next step with the SBA (Small Business Administration) and the State in determining eligibility.”

For those looking to financially support the flood victims, an account has been set up by the Jasper-Newton Foundation at jaspernewtonfoundation.org.

“Please continue to place debris curbside, and our crews will collect,” added Rowe. “The dumpsters are still located across from the Public Works building at 207 E. Goss St. and will still be in place for use. Appliances can still be taken to the Newton County Highway Garage in Morocco. As always, if there are any questions or concerns please contact the Kentland Town Hall at (219) 474-5062 or Newton County EMA at 888-663-9866 Ext 5300 or email at flood2020@newtoncounty.in.gov.”

For those affected by the floods, we have started using a new system to report damage assessments called Indiana 211,” stated Ray Chambers, Newton County EMA Director. “This is an online portal that will allow you to enter your information at your convenience during this period of clean-up. This is the first step toward assistance.

Please go to www.in211.org and on the top right corner find Disaster Reporting – Lake/Newton County. (“Click that link and follow directions”). This is a local database used to help with potential funding. Homeowners will know most information required, but please have damage information, insurance carrier/policy information, and or claim number if covered by insurance. Both renters and homeowners need to complete if the home is rented. It is recommended that photographs are taken and saved.

“We are doing our best to provide assistance in helping families complete the online form. If help or access to computers is needed volunteers have been staffed at the Kentland Library during normal business hours and at the Kentland Community Center from 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm Monday- Friday,” added Chambers. “There is not a quick process, but we will help guide everyone through this. For updated information, please visit the Town of Kentland Facebook page/website or Newton County EMA Facebook. Brochures will be available at the Kentland Town Hall for mold remediation and proper cleaning procedures for those affected.

Directory of Local Services for Flood Victims

Brook United Methodist Church

Every Thursday night — 5-6 p.m. FREE HOT MEAL

Drive through only – 124 East Main Street, Brook Indiana

Phone number 219-275 3751

Trinity United Methodist Church

Provide immediate Salvation Army Assistance, $50 per household.

Assistance in locating items you are in need of, appliances, food, clothes, shelter, etc.

Please call and leave your name, address, phone number, and what you are in need of. They will coordinate the location of needs through local contacts and individual contributors.

Office hours are 9- Noon — Monday–Friday.

Pastor Dan Ashton, Coordinator

Phone 219-474-6225 -leave a message if after hours

Covenant Federated Christian Church

612 6th Street, Kentland

Bob Dewing, Coordinator, 219 474 6235

Donations can be dropped off at the Kentland Town Hall Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Town Hall is donation site only, not pickups

Starting July 6, 2020, through Friday, July 10, the Covenant Federated Church will be accepting donations of cleaning supplies, food, clothes, small appliances, kitty litter, diapers, dog food, health, and much-needed wellness items, etc. for Kentland Flood victims.

Flood victims may pick up required needs at the Church, not the town hall, during the following hours of operation:

Monday, July 6 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 7 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 8 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 9, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Friday, July 10 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (blood drive in the afternoon)

Saturday, July 11 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Food Pantry

1st and 3rd Monday 8:30-10:30

Pre-packaged bags will be available during the above business hours for the donation center also.

Emergency needs should contact Peg Rhanor at 765 337 3194

Jasper Newton Foundation

IF you wish to make a monetary donation, you may do so at the Jasper Newton Foundation. The funds will go to a special account being set up for this specific disaster.

Make checks payable to Jasper Newton Foundation

Mail to: 301 N Van, Rensselaer IN 47978

Inquiries can be directed to: (219) 866-5899 or (219) 285-5899