The July 2003 Flood in Bluffton, Indiana

 Bluffton, Indiana’s flood of 2003

Other choices about Bluffton and small towns.
Nostalgia e-zine  
Gene Stratton-Porter in Geneva, Indiana
James Dean’s Fairmount Indiana
New Harmony, Indiana
Book reviews from a small library 
Music in a smallish city 
Radio set nostalgia
Visit a small-town auction
Road trip to the Cobia submarine museum
Bluffton’s Wastewater Treatment Plant 

Please scroll down and down.

This is only page one of many pages.
We got six inches of rain in two hours or so on the night of July 4.
Then the Wabash River began to rise, fast.  It poured rain for days.
In all, we got over 10 inches. We had 346 houses affected. 
I’ll add more pages as fast as I can. 

So many people volunteered their trucks.  The tails
of the pickups barely cleared the ground… or the water.

Left to right, City Councilman Jim Philabaum,
Fire Chief Dave Brinneman and Mayor Ted Ellis confer.

The firemen directed the operation and worked endlessly.

Sandbaggers and haulers. If school hadn’t been out, we could never have
saved very much.


When it looks like people are just standing,
they are really trying to get their breath so they can shovel more.

Here is North Scott Street at Wabash  as viewed from the north across the river. Hardees is the middle building on the right.

As soon as one delivery of sand was used, another came.

They came from near and far to help us sandbag.

Very needed helpers sandbagging on the third day.

Corner of Bennet and Washington Streets.

This house on Cherry Street put up a sign:  For Sale,
lakefront house, dry basement.

From Elm Grove cemetery looking west across
 Elm Grove Road.  Men appear to be shoveling out water.

East Washington Street. The red house has been condemned. The
yellow house, featured on TV a lot, was for sale. The landlord couple
 had owned it for 30 years, and had just put $18,000 worth
of improvements into it. They have no flood insurance. 

These Indiana National Guard troops came in to save our
Wastewater Treatment Plant.  It was touch and go for days.
We were all asked to “not flush,”  not bathe, not do laundry.
Our water supply coming into the houses was fine though.

Here’s the desperate situation at the Wastewater Treatment plant,
but the water has receded.  In the basement here are three enormous
pumps.  The flood hit so unexpectedly that two of them went down.
Note the hole chopped in the roof for access.  Read more about
Bluffton’s wastewater facility via the link on the left of this page.

See the second page of
photos at
and the third page at

Check back here soon.

Here’s the link back to the cover of Our Tentative Times e-zine
with other Bluffton pages.
 Page made by  Tell-Mama,  a.k.a.
Sandra Weinhardt  email