Flood cleanup continues at Washington Co. Fairgrounds

Updated: Jun. 8, 2017 at 7:43 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SALEM, IN (WAVE) - Friday marks three weeks since rapid rainfall slammed Salem, prompting the city to go under a state of emergency.

The Washington County Fairgrounds were hit particularly hard, including the horse club that now has had to deal with two disasters.

News & Weather apps

It's a busy time of year for the fairgrounds, which is why the flood was so devastating for many people and groups.

"I have never seen nothing like this," fairgrounds caretaker Rusty Lee said.

It's the flood images Lee will never forget.

"To get it back like it was, it will take a lot," Lee said.

He was there as the rain took out fencing and buildings at the Washington County Horse Club.

"All horse events are canceled as of right now," Lee said.

+ With residents lacking flood insurance, Salem launches relief fund
+ Salem recovery begins after devastating fund

What happened next prompted Jordan Dos Santos to get involved and start a fundraiser. Less than two weeks after the flood, fairgrounds officials said a salvaged storage shed filled supplies was set on fire.

"I don't know what exactly was in the building," Lee said. "I was told about $500 or $600 worth of stuff that was inside there that is completely gone."

Police are now investigating.

"An act like that is supposed to break people apart and upset people," Dos Santos said. "That's not what this is going to do, I don't think."

Just feet away sits Thunder Valley Raceway. Before the flood, it was ready to reopen after it was closed for more than a year."

"Of all the hours, money and manpower we had put in to fixing this track - new fences, barriers, clean up, and then to come and see it all under water," Misty Leonard with Thunder Valley said. "It really takes the wind out of your sails."

WATCH: Katie's report here

But thanks to the county, volunteers and staff, for the last three weeks there's been around the clock cleanup and the track will open as planned on Saturday.

"You have to go on, one step in front of the other, and here we are," Leonard said.

There are currently several fundraising campaigns going on right now; one for the horse club, one for the race track and one for general flood relief.




Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.