Storm Floods Northwest Indiana Campsites

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July 30, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

The quirky weather of summer 2009 dealt a one-two punch Tuesday (July 28) that caused flooding and power outages and disrupted vacation campouts in a lakeside sliver of northeastern Porter County in northwest Indiana, according to the Gary Post Tribune

"It was relentless. We were getting sideways rain in the first one," said Brandt Maugham, Indiana Dunes State Park property manager, describing the first storm off the lake around 2 p.m. 

About an hour later with power at the town hall out, Dune Acres Deputy Town Clerk-Treasurer Sherry King decided to break off working on next year's budget and go home early. 

"I stepped out the door and was up to my ankles in water. I had to wade to my car," she said. 

King said she came back about 7 p.m. with her husband, Harold, a town maintenance worker, as the second storm was moving out and discovered water in her office. 

"It was under the desk. The water came in and soaked the carpet," Harold said Wednesday morning while drying the building with fans. 

Outside, the parking lot was still filled with water. 

"The park and the soccer field are flooded. We had just finished painting it and the kids were playing on it," he said. 

Rainfall totals indicated the storm effects were very localized, with 6 inches reported at the state park nature center, but 1.34 inches in the gauge at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Waverly Road, according to officials in the parks. 

"We have 20 or 25 campsites with a significant amount of water," Baugham said Wednesday morning. 

He said Dunes Creek experienced a flash flood, but "high water" signs posted on park roads were due to come down. 

"Our Youth Conservation Corps workers cleaned the water and sand away. We hired 78 of them for the summer, all from Porter and Lake counties," he said. 

Baugham said there had been no emergency calls for assistance as a result of the storm. 

Lakeshore Deputy Superintendent Garry Traynham returned from an inspection of the national park campground to report, "everything appears to be fine." 

He said a section of asphalt walkway the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk had been undercut by washed-out sand, which covered several sections of pavement.

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