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Commissioners declare state of emergency

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UPDATE, 3:15 TUESDAY: Commissioners declare state of emergency

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PERRY COUNTY – Perry County’s commissioners declared a state of emergency at approximately 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, calling on county residents to be alert for rapidly rising flood waters and to refrain from travel on water-covered roads.

Their proclamation will remain in effect until noon May 3.

Signed by Commissioners Bill Amos and Jody Fortwendel, and Steve Hauser, director of emergency management, the proclamation also requires residents to “comply with necessary emergency measures, to cooperate with public officials and disaster-services forces in executing emergency operations plans and to obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.”

The flooding means county officials are “unable to provide the public with adequate advance warning of road closures and general maintenance repairs,” the proclamation also notes.

UPDATE, 4:25 P.M. MONDAY: Mulzer Crushed Stone offering free sand for flood-control efforts

TELL CITY – Mulzer Crushed Stone Inc. is offering free sand to the public beginning immediately at its Tell City and Rockport locations to aid in flood control.

Residents will need to contact their county Emergency Management Agency to obtain unfilled sandbags. The Perry County office number is 547-4426. After-hours calls chould go to the dispatch center at 547-7068.

Sand will be available at each location 24 hours a day and signs will be posted providing directions to the sand piles after hours. For more information and detailed directions to the sand piles at each location, visit www.mulzer.com.

UPDATE, MONDAY, 1:30 P.M.: PERRY COUNTY – High water has closed two more highways in Perry County. Indiana 70 from Indiana 37 to Derby is closed, as is Indiana 166 from Rocky Point to Tobinsport.

ORIGINAL STORY, 9:10 A.M. MONDAY: PERRY COUNTY – Spurred by several days of heavy rains, the Ohio River is expected to climb this week to levels not seen since the 1997 flood.

As of Monday, state highways and numerous county roads were already under water and sandbagging efforts were under way or set to begin in Derby and near Rocky Point.

Steve Hauser, director of the Perry County Emergency Management Agency, said sandbagging was planned in Derby, which faces the river, to prevent water from entering Derby Tavern and nearby homes.

Sandbagging was also planned along Swallow Road, near Rocky Point, to protect homes.

Hauser said flooding could come close to the last major Ohio River flood in 1997.

At 10 p.m. Sunday, the Ohio River at the Cannelton Locks and Dam stood at 46.5 feet.

At Tell City, the river was at 44.1 feet and was forecast to rise to near 47.2 feet by Monday evening.

City workers installed Tell City’s and Cannelton’s floodgates last week, the second time this spring the floodwall was sealed.

Forecasters were calling for more rain through at least Wednesday with a chance for heavy rain and severe storms.

Indiana 545 was closed in the St. Meinrad area and some roads in northern Perry County were closed by headwater. Indiana 66 from Sulphur to Derby is closed, as is the highway from Derby to Rocky Point.

Areas of Indiana 66 from Rocky Point to Cannelton are also closed.

County roads closed by high water include areas of Canada, Sinai, Carlisle, Catnip, Cattail, Urban, Thrifty, Angelo, Aetna and Adyeville roads.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.