Columbus drivers issued tickets for going through barricaded, closed roads

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COLUMBUS, Ind. – Several drivers have chosen to ignore road closings and barricades around Bartholomew County, where high water has made parts of several roads too dangerous.

As of early Friday afternoon, the count’s emergency management agency reported the county still had approximately a dozen road closures due to high water. That included a couple sections along SR 11.

Police in Columbus said a section of SR 11 on the south edge of town had caused several issues. At least two drivers ended up abandoning their vehicles sometime overnight and the cars were still stuck there Friday afternoon. Police said they put up barricades, but drivers were moving them to go around.

Roughly a half dozen drivers by noon had received citations for moving barricades and driving through a closed road. A Columbus police spokesperson said those drivers received a $170 fine and could likely have damage to their vehicles.

Police took further action to stop drivers from going through. They placed police tape around the area and have since parked one of their cars on the road to stop drivers from breaking the law.

Flooding not only forced schools to close Friday, but many workers had a longer commute to start the day.

More road closures took place in the Walesboro area, where several large employers are nearby.

That’s where water has kept Kimberly Townsend stuck inside.

“It wasn’t supposed to come up this much,” she said.

She’s lived in her home for more than a decade and one flood forced her to get a hotel.

This time, the water is too cold to get out. She had two grand kids at her house last night and got them back to their parents today by passing the two seven-year-olds through a window. She won’t leave because she wants to make sure the water stays out of her home.

“If I can keep it out of my crawl space, I’ll be alright I think,” she said. “I don’t think it will get a whole lot higher.”

Townsend is already running two pumps in her home and has been on the phone searching for more.

David Taylor worked today. He parked his truck at Engledow Exterior, a landscaping business, at 8 a.m. Three hours later his co-workers said he better hurry back to his truck because the water was rising.

“There was a little puddle there,” Taylor said. “Worked three hours and one of my co-workers called and said, ‘hey you better get your truck out.'”

It was too late. Taylor said he was thankful his boss is letting him keep the company truck until the water drops and he can get his truck home.

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