Record-breaking rainfall causes flooding, collapsed houses, sinkholes

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Police officers block Hickory Road south of Corby Boulevard because the roadway is covered with two feet of water on Tuesday morning, Aug. 16, 2016. (Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC)

The steady rain that began falling Monday afternoon and carried through the night was truly historic.

A total of 7.69 inches fell in South Bend, according to the National Weather Service. The total breaks the single-day record for Aug. 15, which was previously 2.35 inches set in 1934, and the overall single-day record, which was previously 6.58 inches on Sept. 13, 2008.

The record-breaking rainfall caused flooding throughout South Bend and St. Joseph County. Several streets were closed because of flooding and sinkholes formed in some parts of South Bend. The southwest side of the city was hit especially hard.

All residents in the 1700 block of East Calvert Street were evacuated at about 7:45 a.m. because of a gas leak in the area.

At least two houses collapsed after being damaged by floodwaters, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said. The people who lived in the houses escaped without being injured.

Several vehicles were disabled by the flood waters and abandoned overnight. South Bend Police and South Bend Fire staff rescued several people stuck in flooded areas. St. Joseph County dispatchers answered more than 150 calls overnight.

Some people on Calvert Street used a canoe to get around.

The O’Brien Center at 321 E. Walter St. and the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center at 1522 Linden Avenue both opened Tuesday morning to serve as shelters for people who needed a place to go. South Bend Animal Care and Control also opened early to take in animals.

The flooding also forced the Potawatomi Zoo to close Tuesday.

A flood warning remains in effect for St. Joseph County, southeastern LaPorte County, northwestern Elkhart County, northwestern Marshall County and southeastern Berrien County, Mich. until 4 p.m.

A flood warning will lift at 2 p.m. for the northeast portions of Elkhart County, east central Berrien County, Mich., St. Joseph County, Mich., and Cass County, Mich.

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