South Bend, Northern Indiana Affected By Flooding
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A local disaster emergency has been declared for South Bend by Mayor Pete Buttigieg after flooding along the St. Joseph River has caused damage to homes, businesses and bridges.
"What's worrying us right now is damage to infrastructures," says St. Joseph County Emergency Manager John Antonucci. "We're very near two bridges being overtop and once that happens you really have to start being concerned about [the] structural integrity of the bridge."
Antonucci says the South Bend Fire Department has rescued dozens of families, but they are in a unique position to provide assistance.
"They actually teach the swift water rescue class all over the United States plus four different countries, so they're pretty darn good at it," says Antonucci.
Flooding has also canceled classes at IU South Bend since the campus sits along the river. Wednesday night, emergency management personnel sandbagged two of their residence halls.
Nearby Elkhart and Marshall Counties are also reporting damage and closed roads due to flooding.
Antonucci says his office is able to work ahead on assessing the damage before the flood water recedes.
"We have a [computer] program and we're able to drag up specific information about houses, take a look at it and [see] the water was up eight feet on the outside of the house. We know that house is a total loss."
Photo credit: Getty Images / Jennet Singleton