TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – “I’m lost for words,” Barton Beach Road resident Debbie Philpott said.
Words may not be able to describe what Philpott saw on Sunday. Huge slabs of ice remain in her front yard after an ice jam on the Wildcat Creek caused Philpott and her neighbors on Barton Beach Road to evacuate their homes on Friday.
Two days after the evacuation they came back to see what happened.
Philpott has lived on the road for 30 years. On Sunday, she remained in the pajamas she was wearing when county officials evacuated her.
“When the water was just flowing down it was nerve-racking,” Philpott said. “Seeing all the ice and the damage, now afterward, it’s just devastating.”
Philpott’s neighbor, Edith Austin, feels the same way.
“The ice, the ice is just, ah,” Austin said.
An example of just how strong the ice is, is how it moved the land around. A tree was pushed into Philpott’s home and it opened a bedroom window. That allowed water to rush into the home.
Ice also showed its strength on neighbors’ cars.
“An ice jam came and took [the car],” Philpott said. “It was between the house and the tree. Then it broke again, and it slid [away]. I don’t know how many inches of ice it’s under. It’s totaled.”
Philpott and Austin are trying to assess the damage, but high water is making it hard to get up close. With no timeline on when they can return to their homes, both are staying with loved ones.
Austin rented her home. Philpott said she does not have flood insurance.
When asked where she goes from here Austin responded, “Up. What can you say? You can’t go down. No further than what we are.”