Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The State of the State in Central and Southern Indiana

Photo by Jim Rice (Seymour, Indiana)

Some of you have written to me, asking if my family and home are both safe and sound from the horrid storms and flood waters which have overrun central and southern Indiana.

Indeed, we are all fine.

I won't mislead you.

It has been a rough couple of days. The rain started late last week and it seemed to never stop. The intensity though, was what surprised me. The wind whipped our trees violently, from side to side, and I was concerned that we were definitely going to have a tree thrown into the side of the house :). Luckily, this did not happen.

So, if my family and home were both safe - why do I have a picture of a flooded area at the top of this blog entry?

Because folks, Columbus, Indiana - the place I work - is in the middle of one of their biggest natural disasters in almost 100 years. And yes - it is a "drive" for me.

It's been a surreal past couple of days for these folks.

It rained steady and hard - just like it did for those of us up north. Then - what seemed like out of no where - the waters rose in a matter of hours and the entire area was under water.

One moment - streets fine to drive on. Next moment...whoosh!

It truly was with little warning to folks.


Here's Highway 31 - a road I drive on to get to Columbus.
(Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana)


Most of this area isn't considered to be in a flood zone and therefore, several homeowners are fretting about being able to put their lives back together. Their houses have been ruined by the waters and many have lost every single material possession. (Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana)


Some, even lost their loved ones.

At Cummins, we had an employee, Steve Gates, who died while driving home from work on Saturday. "The swollen creek’s strong current pulled Gates under at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday after he tried to walk back to dry land from his vehicle. (The Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana)"

Anytime a member of the Cummins Engine family is lost - it is a tremendous tragedy and I know that several of us are praying for him and his family.


The local hospital - Columbus Regional Hospital - was completely evacuated on Saturday. (Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana).

No one was hurt. All of the patients were appropriately and swiftly moved to facilities in surrounding counties.

Just about everything is destroyed (luckily - they have a good electronic records system in place which is backed up daily).

It will be weeks - perhaps longer - before employees can return there to work and patients can begin to receive their services there.


Here's a picture of the gymnasium of the one of the high school's - Columbus East. Not a pretty site. (Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana).

Some Cummins facilities were flooded. These two pictures are from our Cummins Engine Plant in Columbus (one of the parking lot and the other of the main entrance). (Photos from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana).

I end today's blog with asking you to keep the folks of central and southern Indiana in your thoughts as they go about picking up the pieces of their lives. We could use some good luck and good weather down here.


Carl H. said...

Well it certainly is good to hear you and the fam are okay. I know when we flood up here in the fort, the devestation is incredible. But fortunately for us, the only flooding we've had in recent years was relativey minor compared to what the the south and central Indiana are facing now. Tragedies like this test mettle of the community. It stinks that it takes this kind of event, but the lasting effects can be everlasting.

Good luck your friends down there.

PS - maybe now would be a good time to move back to ftw?