Rains in Valpo called "worst in decades"

2008-09-13T00:00:00Z Rains in Valpo called "worst in decades"PHIL WIELAND
September 13, 2008 12:00 am  • 

VALPARAISO | For the second time in 40 days, the city was dealing with a deluge Saturday that flooded basements, closed roads and forced businesses to shut down.

"We're not sure now many inches of rain we had, but it appears to be the worst anybody can remember," Mayor Jon Costas said as he toured the Hawthorn Subdivision, where he described the water running through one backyard as "like a rapids" at one point. By early afternoon, the water had receded about five feet but was still "like a waterfall," he said.

Costas said the storm was even worse than the one Aug. 4 that dropped about 7 inches of rain on the city in addition to causing heavy damage from high winds. High water on Saturday closed Calumet Avenue by the Cumberland Crossing shopping center, Glendale Boulevard at Valparaiso Street and Burlington Beach Road between Campbell Street and Hemlock Drive.

"I was talking to a resident on Burlington Beach that has lived here 70 years, and he's never seen anything like it," Costas said. "We certainly have areas we have to look at and take a more comprehensive view of solving the problems."

National Weather Service data suggested Valparaiso received from 3 to 5 inches Friday night and overnight into Saturday.

Billy Jack's restaurant and Majestic Jewelers on Calumet Avenue in the strip shopping center across from Cumberland Crossing were closed because of flooding damage, while the neighboring Cartronix reported it was open although the carpet was soaked by the water.

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