Hobart still fighting flood waters

2008-09-15T00:00:00Z Hobart still fighting flood watersDEBORAH LAVERTY
dlaverty@nwitimes.com
219.762.1397, ext. 2223
nwitimes.com

HOBART | Lynn Stephens couldn't believe her eyes as she traveled on her bike through Hobart's flood-drenched downtown area.

"I've lived here all my life and I've never seen anything like this. It's unbelievable," the 64-year-old said while snapping photos of the closed Third Street bridge.

Officials over the weekend had been forced to close to traffic many of the city's main arteries including the Third Street Bridge and the Wisconsin Street Bridge.

The Brickie Bowl, on East 4th Street, also remained under water, Hobart police Chief Rod Gonzalez said.

He said crews were busy sandbagging the shores around Lake George to keep the rising water from seeping into many downtown businesses, several of which had closed.

Gonzalez said his department was also keeping an eye on the rising waters since the police station is located only a few yards away from the shores of Lake George.

He said there is worry that the water could seep into the department and destroy computers and other emergency equipment.

As a precautionary measure, the Lake County Mobile Communications Center had been brought in to handle all dispatch and emergency calls.

"We're been hard wired into the truck since last night," he said.

In Lake Station, residents on the city's west-side were the hardest hit by the flood waters with some 300 to 400 homes and about 80 trailer homes evacuated over the weekend, Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist said.

City crews on Monday were continuing to assist those who had remained inside their homes as well as those who needed to retrieve pets or valuable possessions.

Ruby Stover said she and her family were able to get out of their house, in the 2600 block of Oklahoma Street, on Sunday prior to the rising waters.

On Monday the only passengers navigating the street where she lives were on boats.

"My home is destroyed. I've lost everything. I don't have a house to go back to," said Stover.

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