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West Lakes still moving on from record flood

Efforts are underway to try to reduce flooding in the future.

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 11:28 PM
Updated: Jan 26, 2018 6:11 AM

ROME CITY, Ind. (WFFT) - People who live along the West Lakes in Noble County are still working to move forward from historic flooding last summer.

Efforts are underway to try to reduce flooding in the future.

"It's been a living hell. That's the bottom line," said Buzz Junk, Waldron Lake resident.

Junk moved to Waldron Lake's north shore full-time four years ago, but has visited for decades.

However, he's living with his daughter as his house is still under construction.

"It's just terrible. It's a strain on our family. It's a strain on our marriage at times," Junk said.

Junk, like many other homeowners on the lake, raised their house by at least two feet.

However, on the south shore, Sharron Hindrickson was back home after being displaced for about two months over the summer.

Her cottage has been in her family for generations. She said water has never been in her house until recent floods.

"I've had to completely restore, again, the interior of my house and part of the exterior," Hindrickson said.

Since then, the West Lakes Association has been working to make sure the lake doesn't rise as much in the years to come.

Association president Diann Scott said the growth of surrounding towns is partly to blame.

"It's just continued to get worse the last five, 10, 15 years and it's the volume and speed of water coming in," Scott said.

The association is also working to make sure the water has a way out.

Over the summer, more than hundred people cleared log jams down stream in the Elkhart River.

"It's pretty amazing. It's not that often you get that many people that are worried about Rome City being flooded that would come and help," said Mike Kurtz, Waldron Lake Director.

Junk said there's one thing he wants everyone living on a lake to make sure they have flood insurance.

"It may cost you a lot now, but it's going to be a big difference later," Junk said.

It's not too late to help people living on the West Lakes.

If you want to help, contact the West Lakes Association.

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