A full-scale drill to practice protecting parts of Highland and Hammond during future flood events will shut down Kennedy Avenue at just after midnight March 20.
The closure, expected to take several hours, will be just south of the Interstate 80/94 interchange with Kennedy Avenue along the Little Calumet River, said Dan Repay, Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission executive director.
Taking part in the drill are members of a group that has met every month for three years.
Participants include first-responders and others from communities along the Little Calumet River, including Hammond, Gary, Lake Station, Griffith, Highland and Munster as well as officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that supervised the building of the river’s levees.
“We have the cooperation from the communities. We have the assets to deal with this kind of situation,” Repay said, adding it’s important to practice such a closure before a rain event turns into a flood event.
Another complete closure of a road along the Little Calumet River in Gary to practice flood control will take place April 12 near Indiana University Northwest, Repay said. The drill will be conducted in conjunction with IUN.
“This will be the first drill we’ve held in Gary. We need to demonstrate that we can close a street to keep back floodwaters,” he said. An announcement about which street will be affected will be made in the near future.
Repay also told members of the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission that both pumps are functioning at the river’s juncture with Burr Street in Gary.
Pumps at this point in the levee system have malfunctioned periodically for more than a year, but are working and under warranty, he said.
Operation and maintenance work in Gary’s Marshalltown neighborhood is also completed, he said.