As Elkhart residents begin the process of recovery after days of flooding, Mayor Tim Neese addressed related concerns today in the city. Police Chief Ed Windbigler and Fire Chief Chad Carey joined the mayor as he addressed the press.
Neese commended the support the city has received from local communities, and the work that city departments have done since the flooding. .
He said the main focus now is on recovery and cleanup.
“While we are likely to remain in a flood state until the weekend,” Neese said, “We understand that many residents are eager to begin repairing the damage.”
Neese addressed certain issues that he said were necessary to keep residents safe and healthy. He said residents should keep a few things in mind when dealing with flooding aftermath. For example, remembering to drain water out of basements in increments and not all at once to reduce any chance of structural damages. He also cautioned against scams, and asked residents to remain vigilant before letting anyone into their home.
"Be sure to ask for proper identification," he said.
Mayor Neese would also like to remind residents that building permits are necessary before beginning any projects. He announced today that the city will waive building permit fees for structures directly impacted by recent floods. Neese said it’s important all residents and contractors obtain a permit before beginning any building project. Permits can be obtained from City Hall.
He says the community and emergency response teams are available for help, and are working to get utilities back for all residents.
“We have some homes that do not have heat or electricity,” he said, “Some may have one of the two, so we’re at this point, I think made contact with at least 200 such homeowners but that’s going to be an ongoing process.”
Neese met with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb this weekend when the governor visited the cities of Goshen and South Bend to assess damages. Holcomb declared 11 counties in the state as disaster areas.
Neese said the city is not anticipating any financial support from the state, but says they are documenting damages.