Nearly 100 Utica homes, businesses evacuated; disaster emergency declared

Nearly 100 Utica homes, businesses evacuated; disaster emergency declared
Parts of Utica were almost entirely underwater on Sunday.

UTICA, IN (WAVE) — The Utica Town Board passed a resolution declaring a disaster emergency over the weekend.

The small town has been taken over by the Ohio River, close to 100 households and businesses have been advised to evacuate.

So much water surrounded Jim Lanham's 2nd Street home on Sunday afternoon that he had to use the WAVE 3 camera's viewfinder to see it.

"The water came up surprisingly fast, I think it caught everybody off guard," Lanham said.

Lanham left with what he could and is staying at a friend's house.

"It's a hard feeling to describe that what you have is almost gone," Lanham said. "Hopefully it won't be gone. Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky ones to survive with minimal damage."

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Others aren't waiting for the water to go down to find out. Taking boats to travel through the flooded streets to their homes.

Town Council Vice President Shelly Gaither and her family members occupy four of the homes on Market Street.

"When it started getting in people's houses, that's an emergency, that's a disaster," Gaither said.

Sunday afternoon, some of her family was packing up their things to evacuate.

"I know there's some big houses, some small houses, there's people who have been here for years, there's people who just moved in so it's not handpicking its taking everybody," Gaither said.

For those in need of a place to stay, the Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter in Jeffersonville on Middle Road.

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