Heavy flooding has caused Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman and Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese, as well as Elkhart County, to declare a State of Emergency.
The Disaster Emergency Declaration was signed by Mike Yoder from the Elkhart County Commissioners, Mayor Stutsman and Mayor Neese.
Along with the State of Emergency, Goshen City and Elkhart City are currently under a Travel Warning, whereas the unincorporated areas and other incorporated areas in Elkhart County continue to be under a Travel Watch.
Elkhart first responders began supporting outside agencies with rescue operations on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Elkhart first responders have been dispatched 29 times on Wednesday specific to flooding. Each of these calls led to multiple evacuations and rescues, resulting in a total of 100 as of 5 p.m. As of early Wednesday night, 41 residents were in shelters, and fortunately have not had any public injuries related to the flooding.
A flood warning continues for the Elkhart River until Monday evening. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the stage was 12.5 feet and rising. Flood stage is 7.0 feet. The Elkhart River is forecasted to rise to a crest near 12.9 feet around 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 and fall below flood stage around 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25.
A flood warning continues for the St. Joseph River until further notice. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the stage was 27.5 feet and rising. Flood stage is 24.0 feet. The St. Joseph River is forecasted to rise to a crest near 28.2 feet around 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 and begin falling.
To allow safety personnel to respond quickly to emergency calls, the City of Elkhart is advising residents to limit travel this evening to only essential travel. Essential travel includes travel to and from work or in emergency situations.
Goshen Police say if you are in need of assistance, contact 9-1-1 for emergencies and 574-533-4151 for non-emergency situations.