Governor issues disaster declaration for Marshall, Starke counties

The view of Jefferson Street in Plymouth looking west on Friday.
Shawn McGrath
Staff Writer

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, following moves by Marshall County and local officials, issued a disaster declaration for Marshall and Starke counties on Saturday.
Holcomb’s declaration also includes Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Perry, St. Joseph, Switzerland and White counties.
The governor said the declaration could include other counties throughout the state since more rain and storms are predicted.
The declaration means the Indiana Department of Homeland Security can take extra steps to provide emergency service. According to Holcomb’s office, it’s the first phase in seeking federal funding.
“This is an important step in helping Hoosiers around our state who’ve been hurt by this flooding,” the governor said in a news release. “Our state agencies will continue to work hand-in-hand with local emergency management teams to help families weather the tragedies they are facing. I’m amazed by their resiliency. Looking ahead, we won’t hesitate to seek federal assistance if it proves necessary.”
Holcomb’s office said the State Emergency Operations Center was activated Thursday morning and continues to monitor and “maintain a statewide operating picture concerning the status of the ongoing flooding and respond to requests for assistance from local officials,” according to the press release.
“The EOC has directly assisted counties by coordinating the delivery of over 700,000 sandbags, two water pumps, heavy equipment and vehicles, labor crews, traffic control, UAV photography and subject matter expertise on disaster response and recovery,” the press release states.
The Yellow River in Plymouth crested at about 17.65 feet at about 11:45 p.m. Thursday, below forecasts as high as 18 feet earlier in the week, according to the National Weather Service.
The river isn’t forecast to fall under the major flood stage of 15 feet until about noon Sunday. And the waterway won’t drop below the 13-foot flood stage until about 11 p.m. Monday, according to the NWS.
Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter said late Saturday that the approximately 20 people staying at the Webster Center, 110 Webster Ave., have since been relocated. It wasn’t immediately clear however if they are staying with friends or hotels.
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Read more about this in Monday’s editions of the Pilot News.