Chesterton Tribune



Rep. Boy urges Holcomb to act quickly on shoreline erosion

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State Rep. Pat Boy, D-Michigan City, is pressing Gov. Holcomb to do more than just issue an executive order in response to the shoreline erosion crisis in Northwest Indiana.

“The erosion along the Lake Michigan shoreline cannot be stopped by the passage of legislation or endless months of debate,” Boy said in a statement released on Thursday. “This is an issue that demands swift, hands-on action. That is why I sent a letter to the governor two months ago calling for him to issue a Declaration of Emergency for communities along the lakeshore in Porter and LaPorte counties. Due to record-high water levels and erosion, these communities have faced serious damage to key infrastructure, including things like water main lines and gas lines. The governor’s promise to do something is only good if he intends to act quickly before Hoosiers suffer any further damage.”

“The lake’s level, in combination with recent storm waves, has resulted in conditions this part of the lake hasn't seen in decades,” the statement noted. “The governors of Illinois and Wisconsin have declared a state of emergency for their communities affected by abnormally high water levels and erosion along the Lake Michigan shoreline.”

Last month Boy and State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, sent a letter to the Governor’s Office urging him to declare a state of emergency in the lakefront communities of Porter and LaPorte counties. Such a declaration would make them eligible for relief funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) promptly put the kibosh on their request, however. “To date, we are unaware of any loss of infrastructure (i.e. roads, bridges, public utilities, etc.) which would qualify for public assistance funding from federal or state disaster relief programs,” IDHS Executive Director Stephen Cox said.



Posted 2/21/2020






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