News and Annoucements

Governor Eric J. Holcomb has issued a disaster declaration due to flooding that currently includes 26 Indiana counties, including NWI counties of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke. This flooding has destroyed or caused severe damage to homes, businesses, structures and infrastructure.

Individuals that need assistance during the clean-up process may reach out to 211 by phone or by visiting the Indiana 211 Website.

The 211 system, which is available to Hoosiers statewide, is tracking volunteer resources located and working in the affected areas.

State of Indiana Response to Flooding

Beginning February 15, 2018, heavy rain and storms occurred, causing many rivers in Indiana to overflow their banks. County-level response continues in the southern portion of the state, as flood waters continue to move south and impact communities. The State Emergency Operations Center remains available for coordination and resource support.

As flood waters recede, property damage assessments are underway throughout the state, especially in Northern counties. State and local teams continue to conduct assessments and gather information, which began February 28, 2018. Teams from the American Red Cross are also assisting in damage assessment efforts. Assessments will continue in each county, until complete, at which time teams will continue to other affected counties. Indiana residents are still encouraged to report uninsured damage through the online portal located at

Indiana residents impacted by flooding and in need of debris removal and sanitation assistance can contact the Red Cross, which can help citizens connect with reputable and vetted relief volunteers. All services are free, but not guaranteed due to an overwhelming need for assistance. Those needing assistance may call 888-684-1441.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has launched a virtual disaster recovery resource page that can be accessed at: Here, you can join a mailing list for updates to the response.

Assessors with insurance companies associated with the National Flood Insurance Program may be visiting policyholders. If an individual visits a home requesting to assess the property, residents should request identification to verify agency affiliation.

Hoosiers affected by severe weather and flooding in Indiana will have convenient access to assistance as the State of Indiana opens three state assistance centers in Northern Indiana. Three one-stop disaster centers will open the week of Monday, March 5.

Lake County: 2460 Vermillion Street, Lake Station Indiana 46405
 (Polk Elementary School, in the gymnasium.)

    • Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Open Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Open Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Open Monday and Friday, noon to 8 p.m.
    • Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

State agencies will have representatives on site to provide immediate assistance and answer questions for those who have suffered a loss, including the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Family and Social Services Administration, Department of Workforce Development, Indiana State Department of Health, Department of Insurance, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Indiana State Department of Agriculture. The Indiana Office of Technology and the Indiana State Police will be providing additional support.

The Indiana State Department of Health is supplying the following NWI counties with doses of tetanus vaccine: Lake county. Residents should visit the assistance center above or contact the local health department for information about receiving vaccinations.

The following shelters are currently open; another 10 locations are on stand-by but expected to drop soon:

Beginning Wednesday, February 28, 2018, the Red Cross began its mobile feeding program distributing lunch and dinner to the hardest hit areas of Elkhart, Jasper, Kosciusko, Lake, Marshall, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke and counties.

Indiana residents should report UNINSURED damage through the online portal located at It can also be found at under Featured Topics. The link is labeled "Indiana Damage Reporting for Heavy Rain and Flooding: February 15, 2018 and continuing" 

Indiana residents with flood insurance should contact their insurance providers for instructions.


  • As flood water moves south, some waterways in the southwest portion of the state have not yet crested. Hoosiers can find more information on INDOT routes that are currently closed due to flooding by using the INDOT CARS program online at or through the INDOT mobile app.
  • Individuals can also call INDOT customer service at 1-855-463-6848. Check with city, town and county highway departments for the most up-to-date information on local roads affected by flooding.
  • High water continues to require the closure of some roads, especially in the southern portion of the state. Do not ignore “high water” warning signs or drive around barricades closing roads for flooding.


  • Well water in flood-affected areas may be contaminated with pathogens and be unsafe to consume. Residents who use wells should contact the local health department to coordinate testing to ensure their water sources are safe to drink.
  • Mold is a real issue after a flood. Those affected should be instructed to remove any items from homes or businesses that have been wet for two or more days. A mixture of bleach and water (no more than one cup of bleach per gallon of water) can be used to on rigid surfaces such as countertops, floors, sinks and stoves and plastic toys. Mold can be growing and not be visible. 
  • Flood waters are not safe to swim in, play in or let pets and livestock be in. Flood waters contain various contaminants, chemicals and other dangerous pollutants that can make people and animals sick.
  • No one who sees or experiences a disaster is untouched by it. Loss from flooding is no exception. Disaster stress and grief is normal, but there is help available if someone in the family needs mental health assistance/counseling. For information on human services, please visit the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA). A list of counties with FSSA offices can be found online at


  • People should stay away from flood water. If someone comes across an area where water is above their ankles, they should stop, turn around and go another way. If they encounter a flooded road while driving, they should also turn around and go another way. If the car is caught in rising water, they should get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • It is important to be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood dangers.
  • Children are curious and should be kept out of the water.
  • Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. If away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Before entering the home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damages.
  • If the smell of natural or propane gas is present or a hissing sound is audible, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside the home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Make sure all food and water is safe. Discard items that have come in contact with flood water.
  • When in doubt, throw it out!
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

In the aftermath of flooding and other natural disasters, property owners are vulnerable -- making perfect targets for scammers pretending to offer help cleaning up wreckage and making necessary repairs. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill recommends the following when working with someone offering services:

  • Avoid agreeing to any repair or restoration work on the spot during initial contact with someone offering services – this includes contracts.
  • Avoid signing any legally binding agreements without first gathering information and researching a business being represented.
  • Obtain information about the individual offering his or her services.
  • Research the company the individual claims to represent.
  • Look for signs of credibility such as an official website.
  • Seek reviews and testimonials from former customers.

For more information about actions before, during and after flooding, visit, as well as