Governor expands disaster emergency declaration

Staff Report
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS—Gov. Eric J. Holcomb has declared four more counties as disaster areas following the heavy rains that triggered widespread flooding over the past week.

In all, 26 counties are included in the disaster emergency declarations he has issued since the flooding started a week ago.

The executive order the governor signed Friday includes Jackson, Kosciusko, Newton and Porter counties. The other counties are Harrison, Jasper, Ohio, Pulaski, Benton, Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Jefferson, Spencer, Warrick, Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White.

 The disaster declaration means the state Department of Homeland Security can take necessary actions to provide expanded emergency services. It is also required if the state is going to seek assistance from the federal government.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated Thursday morning and continues to maintain a statewide operating picture of the ongoing flooding and respond to requests for assistance from local officials. 

The EOC has assisted counties by coordinating the delivery of more than 824,000 sandbags, two water pumps, heavy equipment and vehicles, labor crews, traffic control, UAV photography, and subject matter expertise on disaster response and recovery.

Also on Friday, the Department of Homeland Security announced today it will open three one-stop state assistance centers in northern Indiana. The will open Monday, March 5 in Lake, Jasper and Elkhart counties. 

State services will be offered by several state agencies in partnership with the American Red Cross as well as the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Group . That help will include housing support, social services, unemployment insurance, insurance information, public health information, transportation assistance, agricultural assistance and more. 

For more details on these state assistance centers, visit https://calendar.in.gov/site/dhs/event/state-assistance-centers-opening-in-northern-indiana-to-assist-flood-impacted-hoosiers/.  

To report weather-related damage, contact http://bit.ly/2018rainfall.  

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