Midwest Flooding Washes Homes Away

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Close to 90 counties across Wisconsin, Iowa, and Indiana have been declared disaster areas after days of unrelenting storms and flooding forced residents of many communities to evacuate.

At least eight people have been confirmed dead as a result of the weather. President Bush declared a major disaster in 29 counties in Indiana alone.

Runoff from the heavy rains across the region was expected to contribute more problems to the flooded areas throughout this week. he area has already received up to ten inches of rain and rivers are swollen to the top of their banks.

"This thing came on fast with such a radical deluge of water that people were describing going from a feeling of security to waist-deep water in a matter or 15 or 20 minutes," said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The small towns in a large area of Wisconsin have basically become cutoff from the outside. Roads in all low-lying areas are blocked by water.

"It's exhausting," said Barb Edge, 50, who lives on the edge of the Kickapoo in Soldiers Grove. She said her house suffered $9,000 worth of damage in August. "We just got the damage repaired. It's just horrible."

The management of Columbus Regional Hospital in southern Indiana had to evacuate more than 250 patients and employees. The medical center had to close when mud and water covered the first floor.

Jack Elkins, 67, said his condominium near the hospital was inundated with water in a matter of minutes Saturday night. Once the storm drains filled up, it took 15 minutes for about 8 inches of water to ruin his place.

"It looked like a river in front of my house," he said as he took a break from ripping up carpeting and flooring.

Source:  The Associated Press

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