Posts Tagged ‘Martinsville’

I came from a television family, my dad had the first television on our rural block and then studied, evenings, to become the local repairman. TV has been the background of my life.


Mom has a debilitating heart condition now and spends a ton of her day in front of the television. She cannot walk very far on her own and that has, needless to say, slowed her down considerably.  She has an electric buggy but does not use it much unless I am around, because mom never learned to drive. GASP!


Yes, children, there are people in the world who have never learned to drive.


When she was sixteen, her brother took her out in the farm yard to teach her. He later declared she had sideswiped a cow and was hopeless and never took her out again.


My dad acted like he was teaching her to drive, but only actually offered to teach her when she 1. Had a cake in the oven and couldn’t leave or 2. It was Christmas Eve and snowing; thus making sure she never learned. 


NO ONE drove my dad’s car (my brother and I were both taught to drive by our mates) and he was not going to make an exception for her. Beside, dad was rather of the belief that women are to be taken care of and not allowed to learn to think for their selves. Yes, a chauvinist extreme.


What does all this have to do with TV, you ask? Well, if mom was comfortable driving, she would be tooling all over Martinsville, Indiana in her scooter. She wouldn’t be afraid to enter the elevator with it. Getting in and out of the elevator is kind of scary yet and we work on that every time I am over. It is a tight turn.


But, for now, she sits and watches tv. She likes to watch “Little People, Big World” and “Some obnoxious woman and her beaten husband and their twin daughters, one of whom is an obnoxious child and the other who is ignored, and their sextuplets, many of which are brats.”  And, apparently, the whole family likes to hit each other on the head. I do not watch it, so I’m not as up on it as she is.


Secretly, I think mom likes it because the children are so out of control, and maybe the families are dysfunctional. The husband on “Little People…” overextends and leaves projects unfinished; thus reminding mom of my father, who measured shelves every year for twenty years and never did get the shelves put in until they were ready to sell the house.


I’m not sure why she enjoys bratty children? I plead the fifth.

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Since the President has approved fourteen more Indiana counties for federal assistance, I thought this might be a good time for an update.  The counties approved are Adams, Brown, clay, Daviess, Dearborn, Greene, Henry, Jackson, Jennings, Knox, Owen, Rush, Shelby and Sullivan.

Brown County is no longer under a boil water order. I phoned the Water Utility yesterday. They had just received their latest test results and we are all clear. With six people in the house over 18, that is a huge relief. I was washing and rinsing dishes with bleach water and trying to keep up with the miniature ants who have invaded our home. Seems the rain has really driven them above ground and into our home. I have also found a new use for Bleach water, but I imagine I hear their little ant selves screaming as it touches them. 

It is amazing all the affects a flood can have.  Southern Indiana Hospitals have lost 600 units of blood, it is estimated. So, Columbus is having a blood drive. They are holding it at the City Hall, 123 Washington. It started Friday and runs from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Saturday, June 14, 2008.

The Columbus Regional hospital is shut down. They are paying employees for a two week period while they, the hospital, works to clean the mud and muck out of the basement. Jim Bickel, CEO of the hospital will conduct a press conference at 2 p.m. today to cover the steps needed for re-opening the facility.

Road closings for Columbus are at the bottom of this post.

In Brown County,  the Health Department is offering free Tetanus shots.  They are waiting on assessments from outside their department that will evaluate structural components of homes before they can declare a home as habitable.

The highway department is clearing culverts and repairing bridges, as well as several roads that have been damaged. The Sheriff’s department has increased patrols in affected areas to deter potential looters. All residents are asked to keep an eye on dams in the county (not for looting, but for leaks) as they travel, and DNR representatives are currently in the county inspecting “high hazard dams.” And, there goes two more ants and I am in the front room.  It beats the hundreds in the kitchen.

This is the site for Nashville, Indiana’s Tornado & Flood Information Page Nashville Indiana Flood and Tornado Issues

And, last, is Martinsville.  Mom was under a severe storm warning again yesterday and a flood warning. The rain wasn’t as severe as expected, thank goodness. South Elementary School, homes in Fraker’s Trailer Court and Lavanian Trailer Court were under several feet of water six days ago. Today, the water has receeded and residents now face clean up.

There is a great story on the flooding from the perspective of one of the Williamsburg Colonial Apartments residents as they wake up, that morning, to pounding on their door and one inch of water changes to 3 inches in 10 minutes. Flood victims struggle to cope with stress is the link to the report in the Reporter-Times of Martinsville.  A few hours later, the water was chest high as a former bar bouncer carried children through the water to higher ground.  The apartments were eventually under five feet of water.

Recovery is beginning in Central Indiana, but it is a long road. Most homeowners do not have flood insurance and FEMA offers low cost interest loans. We are so lucky we did not lose our home. We have a mortgage, no flood insurance, and if our home had been lost, we do not have the income to take on a loan to rebuild, in addition to the mortgage. I’m thankful that, other than some water in the basement, and loss of carpets and a mattress, our main problem is the tiny ants who have taken up residence.

Roads closed in Bartholomew County (Columbus)  include:

500N east of Road 825E (Schaefer Lake dam)

900E between North & East Lake Shore Drives

620 N between 900E to 1000E

775E between Hope Corp. Limits and 800N

800N between State Road 9 and Road 670E

250W just south of Lowell Road

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We arrived home Sunday night, via a long and winding route. I am appalled at the lack of good information out there, in this technological age, about the extent of the damage. We did find road closings, however, but I understand the problem as it is in a constant state of flux and we had to find our own way around the damage.

We passed Camp Atterbury and a convoy of trucks loaded with soldiers and equipment for clearing brush and trees in neighboring towns from the tornado, of the week before. The Camp itself suffered more than $19 million in damage to fifty buildings and to infrastructure. This does not include the cost of multiple vehicles that were damaged.

Edinberg was heavily hit by the tornado. Blue plastic covered the roofs of home after home. Garage doors were bowed out and damaged. I am presuming this was some type of air pressure thing, or wind blowing in under the door and following the walls and ceiling to try to exit at the weakest point. The tree devastation was incredible. Properties were lined with downed and splintered hundred year old and younger trees.

We did not pass a lot of flood damage and breathed a sigh of relief when we drove down our driveway to see our house. Surrounded by so much flooding, we were very fortunate indeed to only have water damage to two son’s lower floor (walk out basement) rooms. We need to find a new bed for one boy and we did a ton of laundry and ripped up carpeting, which needed it anyway. Our dam stood but the thick logs that lined it, as the boys walk over it to the bus, were washed to the other side, and are in the gully, so it did go over the dam but did not destroy the dam.  I’m sure our neighbor at the other end of the gully is happy too.

Jackson Township is under a boil order until at least Friday. With six people in the house, that’s a real pain but certainly not the worst thing in the world.  

Near us is Trevlac, in Jackson Township, and it was under water as of Saturday. The fire department was saved, possibly by a railroad track that was built up above the level of the ground.  I believe the dam at Lake Lemon may be what flooded Trevlac.


Johnson, Morgan and Brown Counties all experienced severe flooding and have been declared in a state of emergency.

Houses in Helmsburg were flooding and being evacuated. 

A dam in the Beech Tree area was breaking. I don’t know how that turned out.

Emergency evacuations south of Sweetwater Trail went all the way to Nashville.  Jackson Township Fire Department, where one son is a volunteer fireman, was evacuated due to high water coming into the station.

Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin had water to the first floor and cars were submerged up to their windshields in the county government parking lot. 

Dams failed in the Prince’s Lakes area, threatening the town of Nineveh. (30 miles south of Indianapolis)

There were evacuations in the Lake Lemon area. (10 miles ne of Bloomington)

Dams near Gold Point were close to collapse.

Near Martinsville, which is where my mom lives, there were motorboat and helicopter rescues as hundreds of people in Martinsville and Paragon were evacuated.  Last night my mother was told to prepare for evacuation but the last I heard is that the water had not reached the buildings generator so they were safe. As of Saturday, all the major roadways in the southern part of Morgan County were closed.  At one point power was shut down to the city, for safety. Water at the Martinsville Industrial Park, on Saturday, was armpit-deep. Auto Dealerships and businesses were flooded out. KMart had a minimum of eight inches of water in their store.

The worse is now over for Martinsville, we hope, and has left 400 to 500 homes damaged with hundreds of residents in shelters or staying with relatives or friends. Trash trucks and rescue crews are now working to clean debris and remove damaged possessions. Artesian Square and the Martinsville Plaza are two of the hardest-hit areas. Three auto dealers, a grade school, lumber yard and Dairy Queen, two motels and other restaurants are also badly damaged. Residents returned home on the south side of Martinsville to salvage what they could.

Mooresville did get some damage also, but I have not read how much.

Nashville did have some evacuations.  One of which was Creekstone Apartments, where more than three feet of water flooded the complex. People were stranded at the Salt Creek Golf Retreat, on State Road 46. A hovercraft retrieved them and took them to safety. Power was out in a lot of areas and Brown County has been declared a disaster area.  As of Saturday, all roads were passable, with extreme caution for cleanup crews.  

I’ve gathered news from several sources, as well as word of mouth. Hope this helps those wondering about this area.  A list of newspapers for Indiana is at:   Indiana Newspapers – Indiana Newspaper List


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