Nearly four inches of rain swamped Duneland in the early-morning hours
And according to the National Weather Service, more was on the way.
“We’ve got flooding everywhere,” Porter Public Works Director Brenda
Brueckheimer told the Chesterton Tribune this morning. “The Triangle
and Porter Ave. lift stations are flooded. We’ve got four vac trucks out
pumping ponds and I’m on my way to the 20th Street cul-de-sac, which is
Still, Brueckheimer said, at the moment no roads in her town were
Since midnight, she added, a total of 3.82 inches of rain had fallen, as
measured by her rain gauge on Franklin Street.
The story was much the same in Chesterton, where the wastewater treatment
plant began bypassing at 2:50 a.m. and was still bypassing at mid-morning.
At 9 a.m. Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said that the plant levels were still
two feet above the point at which bypassing could be terminated, although so
far there’s been no backwash into the plant from the Little Calumet River.
Chief Operator Dick Condon warned folks to stay out of the water in the
Little Cal, Burns Ditch, and Lake Michigan for the next couple of days, as
it will take at least 24 to 48 hours for the untreated sewage in those
waters to dissipate. “I’m sure we’re not the only ones bypassing,” he said.
Elsewhere in town, the Street Department had pumps working in the areas of
Windridge Drive in the Tanglewood subdivision, behind the First Christian
Church at 11th Street and West Porter Ave., and in particular in the alley
behind Val’s Famous Pizza & Grinders at 11th Street and Broadway. The latter
is the lowest point in town and was under some five feet of water at
daybreak, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said.
There was also flooding reported in the area of Gladys and Grace lanes in
the Westchester South subdivision.
In addition, a crew has been manning a vac truck at the old Dickinson Road
lift station—the new upgraded one is not yet on line, O’Dell noted—and at 7
a.m. had already filled one of the two 14,000-gallon capacity Baker storage
tanks at the site. And the lift station in the Rose Hill Estates subdivision
was completely under water.
A few bright spots. Power was never lost, even at the height of the
thunderstorm, although a brief flicker caused fire alarms at the Brassie
Golf Club and St. Patrick Catholic Church to activate, Lt. Jamie Hicks of
the Chesterton Fire Department said.
And the Porter County Drainage Board’s work in cleaning the Pope O’Conner,
following the floods of September 2008, probably kept things from getting
worse than they are in Westchester South, O’Dell noted.
A few minor weather related incidents have been reported. The CFD responded
to a smoking sump pump at 4 a.m. in the 400 block of South 12th Street.
Firefighters ventilated the home and cleared the scene 30 minutes later.
A resident of Morningside Drive did experience a sewage backup in his
basement, O’Dell said.
And in Porter a woman woke to find the carpeting near her front door wet,
the result of some improperly graded landscaping outside her home, Porter
Fire Chief Lewis Craig said. “As much rain as we got and as fast as we got
it, there was nowhere for the water to go.”
The Indiana State Police were reporting no flooded roadways and neither was
the Porter County Highway Department.
The National Weather Service put Porter County under a flood watch this
morning—after a flash flood warning for Duneland expired at 9:45 a.m.—as
periods of continued heavy rains were expected throughout the day, with
rainfalls of one to two inches an hour possible. Thunderstorms with
quarter-size hail and wind gusts of 60 miles per hour were possible.