KOSCIUSKO — Warsaw Street Superintendent Jeff Beeler said approximately 4,000 sand bags had been filled by mid-day Thursday, Feb. 22, in efforts to stave off rising water in key lake areas around Warsaw.
“It’s not done,” said Beeler of the rising water around Pike, Center and Winona Lakes. Crews of volunteers from all city and county departments as well as some inmates from the Kosciusko County Jail worked in concert at the Street Department to fill the sandbags as fast possible. One street department worker said he estimated the sandbag fill rate at between one and two bags per second.
“We’re getting flooding around Pike Lake, Center Lake and Winona Lake,” Beeler said. “We’re working as hard as we can to get everyone sandbags who needs them.”
The sand falls from the rear chute of a hopper and was split into two channels through a makeshift splitter crafted from an old street sign. Workers used an assembly line method to fill and then tie off the bags. Once filled, the bags awaited a semi tractor trailer, which hauled the bags to residences living in low-lying areas of the three main Warsaw lakes.
Kosciusko County Sheriff William Rocky Goshert issued a statement earlier in the day warning county residents of the dangers present from local flooding. Goshert said motorists should beware to never drive into flooded roadways, and always find alternate routes to their destination when traveling.
Residents experiencing flooding around their homes may call the Warsaw City Street Department at (574) 372-9561 to request bags or to volunteer to fill bags.
A sand bagging station is also available at the Kosciusko County Highway facility on Old Road 30 at CR300E.
Residents should be aware of potential rising floodwaters and take proper safety measures and precautions, Goshert said.