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Storm floods portions of Brazil

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Officials told The Brazil Times South Alabama Street was flooded with more than three-feet of water at its highest point during the Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning flooding. Ivy Jacobs Photo. [Order this photo]
As Mother Nature unleashed a fury of rain on Clay County Tuesday night, many residents in Brazil had to deal with the aftermath into Wednesday morning.

Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw told The Brazil Times she was notified about the flooding problem shortly before midnight.

"We have several families affected by the flooding," Bradshaw said just outside of the City Council Chambers at Brazil City Hall. "Most of the flooding appears to be in the southern part of the city."

Inside the Council Chambers, American Red Cross officials were providing assistance to eight families driven out of the Vine Street Apartments due to the rising water from the estimated one-and-a-half inches of rain that deluged the area in less than 30 minutes shortly before 10 p.m.

"It just came down so hard and so fast," Brazil City Fire Chief Jim Smith said. "There wasn't enough capacity for that much rain to get away."

Smith said all reserve firefighters were called in to provide assistance to residents who might have needed it during the flooding.

Also out with their waders on were the members of the Brazil Wastewater Department.

Pump Station Supervisor Mike Bemis was battling high water to get to the more than 23 lift stations located throughout the city to help speed up the drainage process to Birch Creek.

"We've got high water around them all," Bemis said.

The lift stations are located at various points along "Pouges Run," an underground tunnel that helps remove storm water from the city.

"The intensity of the rainfall, the short amount of time it fell in and the previous rain we had had earlier in the day was just too much for the system to handle," Wastewater Collection Supervisor Terry Robison explained to The Brazil Times Wednesday afternoon. "It's an old system, plus it also helps remove storm water from multiple areas outside of the city as well. It just couldn't handle all that at once, it was too much. That's why there was flooding all over the city."

As the water bubbled up through storm drains throughout the city, emergency personnel sprung into action.

Members of the Brazil City Police and Clay County Sheriff's departments closed traffic to flooded roads.

Brazil City Police Dispatcher Andy Whittington pulled up the weather radar on a laptop computer for Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw, Brazil City Police Chief Larry Pierce and Brazil City Pump Station Supervisor Mike Bemis shortly before 3 a.m., Wednesday. Two victims of the flooding (in back) Shalisa Buis, Reelsville, and Eddie Lile, Brazil, were also interested in the weather forecast. Ivy Jacobs Photo. [Order this photo]
"I took a Reelsville woman, who was just trying to get home after work, home earlier," Brazil Police Chief Larry Pierce said. "Her car got submerged on Jackson Street by the Learning Center. Our officers are out there trying to help people who need it."

Brazil City Police Dispatcher Andy Whittington came in to man the phones because another dispatcher was unable to make it through the flood waters for their shift.

"I have an SUV," Whittington said. "It's bad out there, which is why no one should drive in situations like this unless it's an emergency."

Shalisa Buis, Reelsville, found herself caught up in the floods while trying to take a friend home.

"(United States) 40 was covered in water," Buis said. "I know, I tried to drive in it and couldn't."

Brazil resident Eddie Lile agreed.

"You couldn't get across it at one point," Lile, who lives in the Vine Street Apartments, told The Brazil Times.

The Indiana State Highway Department temporarily closed access to State Road 59 at the intersection with Jackson Street.

"Every time a semi drove through the high water, it was causing problems," Pierce said. "The trucks were making waves of water, which were being forced back into the homes in that area."

According to Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband, Brazil was the center of activity after the storm.

"High water forced some evacuations," Husband said. "But we didn't have to set up any shelters. All the people had family and friends where they could stay."

American Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter Executive Director Carol Stevens told The Times Wednesday, that while none of the displaced residents needed shelter following the storms, the offer remained open.

"We are available," Stevens said.

Husband said other areas in the county were not affected as severely as Brazil.

"Most of it was in Brazil," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton added.

When the storms hit the area, city and county officials urged residents to use caution when traveling in low-lying areas. Officials noted United States 40, SR 59, and low-lying areas within the Brazil City limits and Knightsville as being potential dangerous areas.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

It amazes me how people on food stamps can aford computers

-- Posted by grays on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 8:12 AM

Amazing - on one story people are complaining the Mayor wasn't out there with the rest of the workers and now someone is complaining because she WAS in this picture at 3am. You people complain no matter who is Mayor or what they do. GROW UP and do something yourself if you want changes in Brazil.

-- Posted by hoosierhick on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 8:42 AM

Well said hoosierhick...

-- Posted by dogslove on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 9:38 AM

Hoosierhick two thumbs up.Best comment ever.

-- Posted by donalde on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 3:16 PM

Ann's campaign workers have spoken.

-- Posted by BWare on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 4:35 PM

it is wonderful that on so many occassions like this, that city officials have time to pose for photographs. i would like to see the photographs or any evidence of them actually doing something, besides talking to prevent or resolve these type of issues. for over 18 years, i have fought with this city and it's administration to make any effort to resolve the flooding problems. the flooding problems are able to be prevented. but it takes effort. current certain city administrators /officials live one block from me. they know about the flooding and the damage and trauma it has caused to my family, home and bussiness. and do to the fact that many of these current officials have been in their positions for many years, and failed to act accordingly sends a clear message to everyone in this community. and all they do is keep making promises that they don't keep. i will not hide behind any screen name; i am mark bedwell, i live at 304 s. franklin st., brazil. my cell is 812-691-6176. if you wish to make any responses to my comments on this subject; please feel free to contact me personally. i was raised by my oldest brother after the death of my father. the most important lesson he taught me in life is: when a person won't look you in the eye; they are lying. when they won't meet with you, they have something to hide>

-- Posted by madmarkbedwell on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 5:20 AM

Well said Mark. But I'll be surprised if your comment stays up much longer, as I responded to the first article concerning the storm, and even though I never put anything obscene or false in it, it was soon eliminated.

The city of Brazil and its officials are negligent and have been since August 17, 1993, if not even before that. It may be time to call their bluff.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 7:30 AM


i believe that when someone or more than one person fail to act properly or are careless in their actions, it is negligence. but, when that negligence results in harm to a person or damage to one's property; it is considered to be criminally negligent.

-- Posted by madmarkbedwell on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 7:16 PM

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