OTTAWA — With her apartment surrounded by water and fearing she would be fired from her job at Subway if she didn’t make it in, Jodi Culp was determined to get to work Saturday.
She called for emergency help and a firefighter showed up at her door in a humvee to get her through the water so she could make it in.
“If you don’t find somebody to take your place you could lose your job,” she said. “If I don’t work I don’t pay my rent and I don’t want to lose my place.”
Culp was the second rescue of the day for firefighters. They rescued five or six others earlier, said Assistant Ottawa Fire Chief Tom Kuhlman.
For many, flooding in the spring is the new normal in Putnam County especially along the Blanchard River.
“I don’t want to say this is normal but people are starting to get more and more used to it. They have more of a plan for this then what they had in the past,” Kuhlman said.
Putnam County Commissioner John Love said local officials, including those from the Emergency Management Agency and Red Cross, met to discuss plans.
“It was just kind of a briefing on the status of the river and road closures,” Love said.
No shelters were open but some people going to stay with friends or family.
“The biggest issue, so far, is inconvenience to get around with road closures,” Love said.
Oak Street resident Dustin Hoorman watched unworried as the water crept toward his home.
“I’ve seen this my entire life. This is nothing new,” the 31-year-old said.
Hoorman said the water was far enough away and likely about as high as it was going to get barring another rain storm to not cause him concern.
“This is what we grew up with a spring flood,” he said.
Putnam County Sheriff Sgt. Brad Nelson said deputies were busy blocking off roads.
“We’re just trying to make sure no one goes through the water,” Nelson said.
Flooding was at 27 feet 2 inches, several feet above flood stage, Nelson said.
Nelson cautioned people to not attempt to drive through water or cross it on foot.
“You just don’t know how deep the water is or how swift the current is. It’s just very unsafe to drive through,” he said.
David and Carol Dalrymple drove into Ottawa to grab some supplies for a evening party. They had to take off on foot to get to the store less than a football field in length away. But it didn’t faze them and gave them something to laugh about.
“In the grand scheme of things this won’t be that bad of flood for Ottawa, David Dalrymple said.