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Flooding

Floodwater surrounds houses Thursday near 27th Avenue and Oklahoma Street in Lake Station.

LAKE STATION — The rising floodwaters that had threatened homes Thursday on the city's west side and caused some residents to flee are receding without leaving any real damage in their wake, according to Lake Station Fire Chief Chuck Fazekas.

The residents who voluntarily evacuated their homes in the area of 27th Avenue and Wyoming Street are returning, he said, and NIPSCO was expected to restore power Friday to the 13 residences where gas supply was cut off as a precaution.

"It was more street issues," Fazekas said of the rising waters.

Flood-prone areas along the Kankakee River also were spared Thursday and Friday, with the waterway rising to just under its crest of 12 feet as it meanders along the southern edge of Lake County, said Lake County Surveyor Bill Emerson Jr.

Lake County Commissioner Jerry Tippy said he was out at the river until Thursday night, and there was a little flooding in the area of Wildwood Estates and the Shady Shores subdivision, but the water was draining into a wetland.

While the state shut down Indiana 55 in the area of Shelby on Thursday, he said the water was not deep over the roadway.

"There was minimal flooding along the river," Tippy said.

At its highest point, the river was still a little more than a foot away from the 13-foot mark where real problems develop, he said. A group was prepared Thursday with sand and bags should the river overflow its banks. 

"We were ready for that 13 foot," he said.

The Region should get a break from the rainfall this weekend, according to the National Weather Service office in Romeoville, Illinois.

But rain is then predicted from Monday through Thursday.

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"It could be a pretty wet stretch," a spokesman said.

Several days of heavy rain this week had left the Region soaked by Thursday, and areas vulnerable to flooding were starting to develop problems.

Floodwaters had surrounded homes by midday in the areas of 27th Avenue and Wyoming Street, and 23rd Court and Clay Street in Lake Station.

Terra Patterson, who lives at 27th Avenue and Oklahoma Street, said Thursday afternoon water already was entering into her basement through cracks in the floor and a drain.

Her parents' home immediately to the north was surrounded by water.

"I'm not doing this again," she said, threatening to move if she has to evacuate again. "I lost a lot of stuff last year."

Tippy said rising waters temporarily closed a few roads around Lake County this week and resulted in some flooded backyards.

Several roads also were closed due to flooding in unincorporated Porter County.

Heavy rain was blamed for gridlock Wednesday on the Borman Expressway in Hammond. It also contributed to a fatal crash and temporarily knocked out power to thousands.

Gallery: Flooding in Northwest Indiana

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice 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.