Severe flooding in Howard County closes college, 20 roads

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Residents are calling Tuesday’s flooding the worst in the Howard County since the Fourth of July flood in 2003.

“There’s water in places I’ve never seen,” said Kokomo resident and flood victim Dave Wolynec.

Wolynec was one of Kokomo-based Fire and Flood Recovery’s many customers on Tuesday.

“We’ve been going hard since about 1 a.m. nonstop," said Fire and Flood Recovery General Manager Luke Spence. “Lots of drain backups, lots of sub pumps being overwhelmed, just groundwater that’s got into buildings. There have been multiple actual ground water intrusions on main levels of homes, not even in basements.”

Spence’s crews cleaned up dozens of homes Tuesday like Wolynec’s and also got called to the Ivy Tech Community College's Kokomo campus for reports of flooding.

One of the campus’ five main buildings had between six and eight inches of water throughout the hallways and classrooms and the college had to cancel classes Tuesday and Wednesday, Vice President of Operations Michelle Simmons said.

“We were concerned about the safety and welfare of faculty and staff and so there was no way we could have classes today,” Simmons said.

The flooding also closed at least 20 roads throughout Howard County, EMA Director Janice Hart said. Several of the roads were main arteries, which meant long detours for drivers.

“I believe they had another 15 or 20 minutes, maybe longer, on their travel to wherever they needed to go,” Hart said.

As of Tuesday evening, all the roads in the county were back open except two in the City of Kokomo.

Ivy Tech plans to resume classes on Thursday.

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