Intense rainfall over much of Indiana has led to flooding of farms, especially in Northern Indiana. Mark Kingma, a farmer from Jasper County, says they received about 6.4 inches of rain over two and a half days with 3 inches of snow two days prior to that. He said he’s seen flooding like this, but not at this time of year. Kingma says that his farm is largely no-till and shouldn’t have problems with crusting. “We have a lot of sandy ground, varying colors of sand, so we’re not going to have much of a crusting problem with it. Our problem is all the corn stalks on top are all floated to one end of the field. Those will probably have to burn in the spring and the ground tends to be extremely wet underneath the corn stalks. So, after we burn it, it has to dry out a little bit and possibly burn it a second time. It’s just kind of complicated.”
Another issue for Kingma is that he has at least two levees that have failed, but it could very well be more. “One farm, we had a neighbor fly a drone over it this morning and we are either over the top of our levee completely for long stretches, or we had a few more failures. We haven’t been able to get out there to find out. We need to let the water recede to find out what kind of damage we have from that.”
Will the flooding impact planting season? Kingma says it’s too early to tell. “We can’t say, yet, whether we’re going to have a delay or not. We tend to get a wet period and then a dry period where the water goes back down. It’s possible it can all be dry enough that we can head out to the field and plant normally, but we just don’t know.”
Kingma adds that while this is an inconvenience to him and other farmers, others have it far worse. “We just kind of shake our head and look at it and say, ‘Okay, we just deal with it again,’ and these other people have water damage in their home.”
The good news for farmers and those with water damage to their homes from HAT Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin’s Indiana Farm Forecast, “Dry weather everywhere Monday through Wednesday. We’ve got a system moving through Thursday into Friday that could bring some scattered light moisture, but then we’re dry again for about 3 to 4 days back to back.”
Gov. Eric J. Holcomb issued a disaster emergency for 11 Indiana counties in response to widespread flooding and infrastructure damage caused by sustained heavy rainfall.
The governor signed an executive order to include Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White counties. This disaster emergency declaration may be expanded to include other counties in the days ahead, with more rain expected and thunderstorms predicted in the southern part of the state.
The disaster declaration means the state Department of Homeland Security can take necessary actions to provide expanded emergency services and is a step the state is required to take to request assistance from the federal government.
“This is an important step in helping Hoosiers around our state who’ve been hurt by this flooding,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Our state agencies will continue to work hand-in-hand with local emergency management teams to help families weather the tragedies they are facing. I’m amazed by their resiliency. Looking ahead, we won’t hesitate to seek federal assistance if it proves necessary.”