Residents Eager to Return Home - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Residents Eager to Return Home

Reporter: Kennan Oliphant

Web Producer: Amber Griswold

Folks in Hazleton, Indiana, forced out of their homes due to flooding, are looking at another day before they can survey the damage.

About half of the town was evacuated when it looked as if the levee might break. Several homes were swallowed-up by the river, but there are signs of improvement. The levee is holding and the river level is now dropping.

Scott Partenheimer, Hazleton resident, commented, "It's been a long, hard, week."

Partenheimer wants to feel like he and his family can come and stay in his own home.

The threat of water flooding the town, forced many residents to pack up and temporarily move out.

Partenheimer said, "It's just an inconvenience, a temporary inconvenience you know, you have to load the car up with what you can get, what you think you're going to need for a couple three days, it's been inconvenient."

Now that the threat of flooding has subsided, Partenheimer is staying put.

Partenheimer explained, "How does it feel to be back in your home, oh it's nice and it's a good feeling. The water has gone down a couple three feet, so we don't feel any fear of it coming over the levee or really of the levee breaking at this point."

Hazleton Fire Chief Mike Ellis has also been monitoring the river and levee.

Ellis says this has been a stressful time for all involved.

Ellis said, "And I understand that people are anxious to get back into their homes, I would be if I was them."

Hazleton residents living in the lower part of town thought they would be able to stay in their homes Saturday night, but that was not the case.

Ellis explained, "We are about a day away from that. We allowed the residents to come into their home and light their furnaces, we've allowed them back in today (Saturday) during the daylight hours to check their homes, make sure everything is okay in hopes to letting them comeback tomorrow afternoon."

Life will eventually get back to normal for the town, but that will not happen until the river drops to a safe level of 28-feet. As of Saturday night, the river level was at 29 feet.

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