City of Frankfort

Many months on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we focus broadly on the topic of cleanup when it comes to chatting with Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes. This month, we have a number of topics relating to that theme.

We ask Mayor McBarnes whether the city needs to take a harder line with its derelict properties, after one homeowner wasn’t brought before the city despite six years’ worth of complaints.

We also find out whether recent flooding that shut down several roads in the county has made the mayor reevaluate which of his streets need work first.

Wabash River Enhancement Corp.

National Weather Service officials say all the rain clouds this month may hold a silver lining for Indiana.

NWS hydrologist Al Shipe says this year was shaping up similarly to the most recent drought year of 2012 – until recently.

“This was the second-warmest start of the year to the record warm year of 2012," Shipe says. "Starting in early May of 2012, it got warmer and drier. This year, it got cooler and wetter.”

Shipe says that means it’s likely the state has at least forestalled, if not escaped, the possibility of a drought this year.

American Red Cross / http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Introduces-New-Emergency-Response-Vehicles

As Louisiana dries out after heavy rains left parts of the state flooded earlier this month, hundreds of Red Cross employees—including some from Indiana—are down south helping with relief efforts.

Retired Lafayette firefighter David Fagan responded to a Red Cross call for relief workers a little more than a week ago.

He and another area volunteer are now in Livingston Parish, an area east of Baton Rouge and one of the parts of the state with the heaviest flooding.

Fagan has been driving a van, equipped as a mobile kitchen, around flooded neighborhoods.

Vincent Parsons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrtickles/

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is updating their Hazard Mitigation Plan to comply with a new policy from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more commonly known as FEMA. The new plan will include a section on the risks posed by changes in extreme weather patterns.

Indiana’s Hazard Mitigation Plan describes the natural disasters that affect the state and ways communities can lessen their impacts.

After Heavy Rains, Floodwaters Receding In 'Lucky' Indiana

Dec 30, 2015
Benjamin Stäudinger / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ontourwithben/

After peaking at 21 feet in West Lafayette, nearly twice the 11 foot flood stage, floodwaters are receding in the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers.

Indianapolis National Weather Service Hydrologist Al Shipe says storms dumped up to six inches of rain on West Central Indiana during the past week.  

But Tippecanoe and surrounding counties aren’t seeing the devastating floods sweeping through Missouri and Illinois because it was a dry fall, and local rivers had capacity to hold the rain.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The Wabash River occupies a comfortable position in Indiana consciousness. The state designated the waterway as its official river in 1996, and marching bands and a cappella groups pay it homage before Purdue football games and the Little 500 bicycle race. But until earlier this year, no one knew exactly how much the state depended on the river.

Joshua Duffy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshduffyphoto/7283981926

Indiana is stepping in to provide disaster relief to Hoosiers turned down for federal help. The money will go to those affected by this summer’s severe flooding.

Individuals in 27 counties impacted by summer flooding were eligible to apply for federal Small Business Administration loans. 

But the state estimates that more than a hundred Hoosiers were turned down – and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is putting up more than $300 thousand to help those people. 

Joshua Duffy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshduffyphoto/7283981926

Cities and counties around Indiana will have to recover from this summer’s storms and flooding without federal aid after FEMA Wednesday denied Governor’s Mike Pence appeal for help. 

Governor Pence in August asked FEMA to provide emergency grants to 19 counties.  The grants help pay up to 75 percent of costs incurred by local governments for road, bridge and utility repairs and building damage. 

Pence Appeals FEMA's Flood Assistance Refusal

Oct 8, 2015
FEMA / http://www.fema.gov/about-agency

Governor Pence is appealing a federal decision denying a request for assistance to help local governments recover from flooding and severe storms.

The governor calls FEMA's decision "arbitrary," ''erroneous" and "inconsistent" with the way the agency treats other states. The funds were requested to help pay for damages after severe summer storms that led to flooding and crop damage.

Nineteen counties are included in the request and Pence says he’s reserving the right to add additional counties.

Joshua Duffy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshduffyphoto/7283981926

The federal government Monday denied Indiana’s request for financial help for local governments after this summer’s flooding. 

Governor Mike Pence late last month asked FEMA to provide emergency grants to 19 counties that suffered severe flooding.  The grants would have paid up to 75-percent of expenses to, for example, repair damage to roads, bridges and utilities.