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Porter County flooding

Flood waters swamped cars, a building and part of a field early last week in southern Porter County.

Bob Kasarda, The Times

VALPARAISO — The Porter County Board of Commissioners declared a local disaster emergency Thursday in the wake of extensive flooding.

The county took the action in order to position itself to be eligible for state and/or federal financial relief should President Donald Trump declare a disaster as anticipated, said Porter County Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North.

The county's declaration needs to be in place before any action by the president, he said.

"We're getting ahead of this," Biggs said.

Porter County, like other areas of the Region, suffered flooding damage as a result of the heavy rainfalls that began Feb. 15, he said.

The rains resulted in "numerous roadways being closed due to damage/flooding, numerous homes and businesses being damaged, levy breaches/damage, 2 bridges being damaged and numerous areas inundated with debris," according to the county's declaration.

The south end of the county was hit particularly hard, Biggs said.

The county did not take this action in the wake of extensive flooding 10years ago and as a result, lost out on the potential for state and/or federal relief, he said.

The current proactive move is the result of the county revamping its emergency management, plan commission and engineering departments, which jumped into action after the recent flooding occurred, Biggs said.

Gallery: Flooding in Northwest Indiana


Porter/LaPorte county reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.