Counties providing free sand bags for flooding - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Counties providing free sand bags for flooding

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With the warmer temps, we're in the midst of a meltdown here in Michiana. Counties are gearing up for potential flooding by providing sand bags to those who need them.

Tony Ford and his team from "Hoosier Property Maintenance and Snow Removal" had to stop and think just how many bags of sand they've filled up. "We took a count on our bags last time we filled up both these trucks. This is our third time here," says Ford. "Our bag count is somewhere around 400 at the moment, plus what we've got going here."

The group is gearing up for potential floods at Forest Park homes in Warsaw. Last year with a minor flood, Ford says the mobile home park was driving through water about three-foot deep, so Ford says they're going to try to make sure that doesn't happen again. Ford and his crew already started piling sand bags provided by Kosciusko County Emergency Management. They've been driving back and forth filling up bags, loading them in their pickups, and laying them down.

Ford predicts if it stays warm for a while, especially in the lake-lying areas, he's going to see a lot of damaged homes. He says they're going to try to stay ahead of it if they can.

Ed Rock is the Director of Emergency Management in Kosciusko County. He says Kosciusko County has over 100 lakes in it, it obviously creates a major issue for him. Rock compares these conditions to 2008 when the area saw major flooding. Rock says, "People were washed off the road because of the high amount of water that was flowing, and it flowed in places where it never flowed before. We had a couple instances where in fact, there was loss of life."

To avoid a repeat of the past, Emergency Management is providing sand for residents, who can expect to get sand and bags free of charge. The county just asks you to bring your own manpower and your own shovel.

And if you're out driving, Rock says with rain in the forecast, you could expect at least five inches of standing water. He advises, "If you do encounter a lot of water in the roadways, turn around... don't drown."

Kosciusko County will be giving out sand at the following location:
Kosciusko County Highway Garage
2936 E Old Road 30, Warsaw
(574) 372-2359

Kosciusko County isn't the only community offering sand-bag stations. St. Joe County is also providing residents with the free service.

Here is a list of sand-bag stations for St. Joe County:
Warren Township Fire
54837 Quince Road, South Bend
574-232-4028

Clay Fire Territory
18355 Auten Road, South Bend
574-272-1710

Clay Fire Territory
13981 State Road #23, Granger
574-272-3874

Penn Township
13750 McKinley, Mishawaka
574-255-2690

South Bend Street Department
731 S. Lafayette, South Bend
574-235-9244

Mishawaka Street Department
500 N. Cedar Street, Mishawaka
574-258-1660

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