- Associated Press - Friday, June 19, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Residents in three flood-weary northern Indiana counties kept up with sandbagging to protect homes from high waters following several days of rain, while moderate to heavy rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill fell Friday.

Gov. Mike Pence toured some of those areas Friday afternoon and stopped to survey high waters on the edge of a subdivision in Decatur, where the flooded St. Marys River was threatening about 80 homes, Adams County Emergency Management spokeswoman Melissa Norby said.

The governor also met with the owner of a Pizza King restaurant whose business is surrounded by sandbags in the town that’s about 20 miles southeast of Fort Wayne.

The St. Marys river had fallen from 25.1 feet to 24.6 feet - about seven feet above flood stage - between daybreak and mid-afternoon Friday.

“It’s going down slowly but surely. It’s going in the right direction, but it’s raining here right now,” Norby said.

In Geneva in southern Adams County, crews were sandbagging the town’s wastewater treatment plant to keep it operational and protected from the Wabash River, she said. The river stood at 14.22 feet Friday afternoon, more than three feet above flood stage.

Indiana Homeland Security crews have sent 218,000 sandbags to Adams County, as well as Jasper and Porter counties in northwestern Indiana over the last few days, agency spokeswoman Amber Kent said.

A flash flood watch covered much of southern Indiana, where forecasters predict that 3 or more inches of new rain could fall through Sunday. Al Shipe, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, said the heaviest rains were expected over southern Indiana from the tropical system.

“It’s too soon to say when the peak might occur in that part of the state, so people definitely need to be prepared,” she said.

Shipe said the rains will help relieve moderate drought conditions over parts of south-central and southeastern Indiana. In contrast, he said that parts of northern Indiana had received up to a foot of rainfall in the past week due to a succession of storms.

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