Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 26, 2013

More than 200 structures damaged in Tipton

Baby items, cleaning supplies, food, trash bags needed.

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune staff writer

Tipton —  A preliminary assessment shows that 239 homes or businesses were impacted by last weekend’s flooding in the city of Tipton.

The assessment by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security found 14 houses were destroyed and 225 suffered some type of damage, Tipton Mayor Don Havens said. No dollar estimate of the damages has been determined.

Flooding along Big Cicero Creek on Friday put large sections of the southern part of the city underwater and there was some flooding along Buck Creek in the northern half of the city.

Chuck Bell, director of the Tipton County Emergency Management Agency, said donations are being accepted at the Rock Prairie Church on Ind. 19 and monetary donations to help victims of the flood are being accepted by the Tipton County Foundation.

“Right now we’re not accepting clothing or furniture,” Bell said. “We need baby items, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, non-perishable foods and large trash bags.”

Frank Giammarino, president of the Tipton County Foundation, said approximately $2,000 has been donated to the relief fund with the Rotary Club and the Kohl’s store in Noblesville making contributions.

He said a representative from the Tipton County Ministerial Association and Tipton County Health Department, with advice from Bell, will determine how the funds will be distributed.

Bell said there are a lot of people who want to volunteer to help with clean-up and Nolan Pyke is coordinating those efforts. Volunteers will meet at the C.W. Mount building 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, where cleaning supplies will be available.

He said large numbers of volunteers will be needed to repair the damaged homes once the water and debris are cleared.

All property owners who experienced damage from the flooding should report it at www.in.gov/dhs, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website. The state agency is also accepting damage information at the Tipton Public Library.

This week, Debbie Cox was heading up the collection and distribution of donated items at the Rock Prairie Church.

A former classroom of the school, now a church, was stocked with cleaning supplies, baby items and food items.

A hallway was full of clothes.

She said the Good Shepherd Church Food Pantry, which flooded, brought some of the food to Rock Prairie.

“We’ve given out a lot of bleach,” she said. “We’re boxing up food and putting cleaning supplies in buckets for people to take.”

The ALCO store in Tipton donated $500 in cleaning supplies.

“I shouldn’t be surprised,” Cox said of the response. “This is a great community and great church. Right now we’re just trying to get the work out.”

Cox said they have been delivering cleaning supplies and have found at some homes no one was there.

“People are devastated,” she said.

Rock Prairie will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Cox said people will be at the church next week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tipton County Commissioner Joe VanBibber said portions of the county received an additional 1.7 inches of rain on Tuesday.

“It has closed some county roads,” he said of the additional precipitation. “Right now we’re doing a lot of administration work to assess the expenses that have been incurred.”

VanBibber said the goal is to get people back into their homes as quickly as possible. He said some homes are beyond repair.

“If requested, we will assist the city,” he said.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition