TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - In Tippecanoe County, the Wabash River is expected to continue rising overnight Friday. It's expected to be the highest crest in 55 years.
North 9th Street Road is not usually a causeway. But Friday afternoon, it cuts, not through farmland, but the swollen waters of the Wabash.
Water is so deep and winds are so fierce, whitecaps top waves.
Friday afternoon, levels stood at 22.5 feet. The crest Saturday afternoon is expected to be 25.5.
"That's about 4 to 6 inches in my house," says Randy Scharer.
That's what would happen without the dike and new sandbags which surround his home on North 9th Street Road. He built the base after the 2003 flood which went inside his home. But Friday morning he feared it wouldn't be enough.
"I had a great response, I probably had 25 people helping," Scharer said. "Two Bobcats showed up."
Now, there's 20 extra tons of sand and 60 tons of stone lending extra protection.
Still he can't be too careful.
The first floor of his home is cleared out with all the valuables sent to higher ground.
He hopes the pump isn't needed because no water makes it into the yard.
"I hope it doesn't but I think we're prepared for it," he adds.
Tippecanoe County Emergency Management Director Smokey Anderson says his office is prepared as well, conferencing with state officials as well as local authorities earlier in the day to keep everyone on the same page.
"I think if we can get past the crest, we'll be in pretty good shape," Anderson says.
They are thankful Scharer's home is one of the only ones in Tippecanoe County threatened by the flood.
"A lot of this we owe to our Area Plan Commission because they don't let people build in the flood plain. A lot of counties have for years. That's the advantage we have over other counties," Anderson says.
But for Scharer, it's all about saving his home, a farmhouse built more than a century ago, keeping it safe until this causeway goes back to looking like a country road.
He believes his dike and sandbags will hold. Still, he's worried.
"I am, you can't outguess Mother Nature," Scharer says.
If the crest Saturday is as large as expected, it would be the highest since 1958. The 25.5 feet is more than double the flood stage of 11 feet, which is the depth where the river overflows its banks. Wabash River water levels are measured at the Brown Street Overlook in downtown Lafayette.
Of the large floods in recent memory, it's more than a foot higher than the crest in 2008 at 24.3 feet. The 2005 flood crested at 25 feet and in 2003, waters crested at 25.1 feet.
A woman is robbed in Lafayette while on the side of the road by her truck.
A former Frankfort middle school principal is arrested for his part in what police call a child sex abuse case.
Almost Home is saying goodbye to their executive director. The Humane Society says "they wish her well in her new endeavors."