By Ken de la Bastide
With the Wildcat Creek nearing record-flood levels, the city of Kokomo is making preparations to shelter people forced from their homes Friday.
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said the Red Cross shelter is open and can house up to 50 people. He said arrangements have been made with Kokomo-Center schools to open Memorial Gym as a shelter, if required.
At 9:45 a.m., the National Weather Service reported the Wildcat Creek at 17.44 feet; the record is 17.75 feet. The creek continues to rise.
“We have blocked off some streets,” Goodnight said. “Most roads are still open.”
He said the Kokomo Fire Department evacuated some people Friday morning.
People needing assistance are urged to call 911.
Goodnight said the Senior Citizen Center is closed because of flooding at Foster Park.
The city has scheduled bus drivers to work to assist people who need transportation to get to a shelter, he said.
Goodnight said the city is coordinating with Howard County, the Howard County Emergency Management Agency, Kokomo police and fire departments.
Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman said the county is coordinating all its resources, including EMA, the Highway Department and Sheriff Department.
“We have closed some county roads,” he said. “We are surveying the situation.”
Wyman said people who reside in flood prone areas are being made aware of the opening of the Red Cross shelter, 210 W. Walnut St., and Memorial Gym.
Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said there is heavy flooding in the western portion of the county and is getting higher all the time.
“They usually say the crest will come 24 to 48 hours after the last rain,” he said. “The Wildcat Creek was supposed to crest on Friday from the rain earlier in the week, but I’m guessing that will be moved back.”
The City of Kokomo has blocked off the following street to motorists:
Markland Ave.: Park Ave. - Washington St.
Markland Ave.: Leeds St. - Dixon Road
U.S. 31: Carter St. - Waugh St.
Vaile Ave.: Main St. - Superior St.
Judson Road: Philips Road - Dixon Road
Ind. 26 entrance to Indian Heights
Ind. 26 east of U.S. 31 - County Road 50 East
Park Ave.: Center Road - Alto Road
A map of street closures in Kokomo can be viewed at the city’s website www.cityofkokomo.org
Road closures in Howard County, according to the Howard County Sheriff Department:
Areas around Jerome
County Road 300 West between 350 and 450 North, completely closed.
County Road 600 West between 300 and 400 North, completely closed.
Old Sycamore between 400 and 480 West, completely closed.
County Road 500 North and 1350 East, high water.
County Road 589 West and 550 North, high water.
Davis Road and 150 West, high water.
County Road 400 East and 150 North, high water.
County Road 100 North and 300 East, high water.
County Road 900 East between 300 and 400 North, high water.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is reporting the following road closures because of high water in the region:
Ind. 9 between 950 South and 1050
Ind. 26 between Ind. 9 and I-69
Ind. 19 between Logan Street and Field Drive
Ind. 38 between River Road and South Harbour Drive
Ind. 32 between Hague Road and River Road
Ind. 19 between Ind. 26 and 300 South
Ind. 13 north of Ind. 28 in Elwood
Ind. 13 between N. C St. and N. D St.