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Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015

It was another long night in Worthington

Posted Saturday, June 14, 2008, at 8:22 PM

Terry Koons, who has been a WJVFD Firefighter for 31 years, and Jim Abrams, Chief of the Highland Township Fire Department, take a break after working from 9 p.m. Friday night until after 5 p.m. Saturday.
It was another long night in Worthington. Friday in the middle of the day, it rained. Then it rained again Friday evening. Several local people in town said they had three inches of water in their rain gauges. The ground was already saturated from the flooding. While people were worrying about whether or not this added rain would cause the old Eel to rise again, it was the groundwater that caused the problem Friday night.

Gutters in streets were full and people had puddles in their yards that were not there during the flood. Rainwater overtook all of the lift stations of the town's sewer system. About the time this water started causing a backup in the lines, then into a business downtown, David Dyer, a group of Town Council members, street department personnel, firefighters and policemen took to the streets and started working to get the water off and away from the lift stations.

They started in around 9 p.m. Friday night. A portion of Terre Haute Road was closed due to the water - they worked there from midnight until 4 a.m. around the southside lift station. The rest of the time they were pumping the groundwater from around the northside lift station up on Third Street.

It was a crisis in the making that could have affected many homes but most townspeople were unaware anything was going on. While they slept, the guys worked through the night and on into the next day. By late afternoon Saturday, Town Council President Hal Harp said the sewer system was continuing to serve residents but there were 10-15 more basements in town that had flooded due to the influx of rainwater. In addition, one house on Meridian Street on the west end had suffered damage - it moved/shifted, and the property was roped off with yellow caution tape.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, the crisis crew was still working. They had relieved each other enough that most had been able to go home and shower and take a two-hour nap before going back to work. Harp said he wanted to recognize these guys for how hard they've been working under difficult and unpleasant conditions.

Those working included David Dyer, Mike McCafferty, Kyle Steward, Mike Steward, Jeff Stahl, Don Dupire, Kyle Rogers, Terry Koons, Jim Abrams, Shannon Hale, Dustin Green, Town Council members and the WPD.

Thanks to them, Worthington's sewer system made it through the latest weather-related onslaught.

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Anna Rochelle is editor of the Greene County Daily World and can be reached on Facebook or by sending an email to indianarose@fastmail.us.