Troubled Waters

Cars were left stranded and houses and apartments were flooded yesterday when an afternoon storm overwhelmed Muncie's sewer system with three to four inches of rain.

"We really did get too much rain for the system to handle it all," said Assistant Superintendent of Sewer Maintenance Nancy Williams. "The sewers can't take it all when you get such an extreme amount of water so fast."

Officer Eric Perkins of the Ball State University Police Department said seven stranded motorist were reported as of 6 p.m. Sunday. Perkins said most of the stranded vehicles were located on Tillotson Avenue and Martin Street between Riverside and University avenues.

David LePoris, Deputy Director of the Delaware County Emergency Management, said that Emergency Management employees were busy Sunday night placing high water signs near flooded streets.

LePoris said that McGalliard was flooded with up to 8 inches of water where it intersects Oakwood and Wheeling avenues and the bypass.

No roads had been closed as of 6:30, LePoris said.

"This water is going down as fast as it comes up," LePoris said.

But as of 8 p.m. White River was at 7.82 feet and rising, Williams said. Flood level is nine feet and levees are 15 feet high.

Mike Koch, meteorologist with the Indianapolis branch of the National Weather Service, said he expected water levels on flooded roads to drop minimally overnight. He said motorists should always use caution when driving during heavy rain.

"Even if you only have a foot of water, if it is flowing, it can sweep your car," Koch said. "If there is any water, I would turn the car around."

Ball State student Mary Carter said her basement flooded in her house on Main Street, soaking her futon and other furniture.

"It has like four inches of water," Carter said.

Carter was not alone. Williams said sewage crews were busy Sunday night pumping water away from houses and apartments.

Williams said the northwest and southeast neighborhoods of Muncie appeared to have been hit the worst.

According to Koch, the NWS predicts dry weather for Muncie until light rain moves into the area Thursday. He also said that there is a possibility of more thunderstorms for Delaware County this weekend.




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