Families still rebuilding after ice jam

Families are still rebuilding homes after an ice jam on Barton Beach Road in February. (WLFI Photo)
Families are still rebuilding homes after an ice jam on Barton Beach Road in February. (WLFI Photo)

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – It’s been an uphill battle for Debbie Philpott and her family still working to repair flood damage from more than three months ago.

“You think — do I want to do this, do I want to continue, do I have the energy, you know? But somehow I got through it, and we’re there now,” homeowner Debbie Philpott said.

Philpott has completely gutted her home to repair damage done in February. An ice jam on the Wildcat Creek sent the current running right through her home.

“When it got warmer, we came out here and cleaned up the mess. That was really, really bad. It was devastating,” she said.

Philpott has repaired almost all of the damage done to her home. She said the most devastating loss was her husband’s prized classic cars.

“The Chevy II that my husband had since he was 18 that had been restored and the ’62 Corvette were both in the garage, and they were all under water,” Philpott said.

Including all the homes north of Philpott’s, she said she was lucky to be able to go home after the water went down.

“There’s nobody else down here except me,” she said. “The rest of the houses, even down there, they’re off their foundation. They don’t have a place to go. I got fortunate enough to be able to rebuild our house, and they can’t come home.”

In July, county officials will apply for homeowner recovery funds for people affected by the flood. If granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $250,000 will help buy out four to five homes hit the hardest.

However, Philpott has her doubts.

“They have $250,000 to spend for the state of Indiana, and I don’t see it coming down here,” she said.

Even after all she’s lost, she said she’ll never leave. With Father’s Day coming up, Philpott hopes her husband can get something back he lost more than three months ago.

“Hopefully, his dad for Father’s Day will get his Chevy II back,” she said.

County officials say they will have a public meeting for people affected by the floods to talk about the grant program. That date has not been set.

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