Home and business owners planning to rally as Lake Freeman water levels continue to drop rapidly

Water levels on Lake Freeman are continuing to drop rapidly. Over the last several weeks levels have dropped nearly 7 feet.

Posted: Sep 29, 2020 4:18 AM
Updated: Nov 10, 2020 2:27 PM

WHITE & CARROLL COUNTIES, Ind. (WLFI)—While abnormally dry seasons aren't a new thing to those living on or near Lake Freeman, many people say this year ranks near the top of the list for being one of the worst droughts they've seen in six years.

Back in 2014 Lake Freeman levels dropped 23 inches for a two week period. However on August, 21, 2014 night time rain in the area brought lake levels back to a normal state.

But that's not the same story this year. Rain has been scarce in the Lake Freeman area and levels are dropping significantly day by day. Especially as water flows out of Lake Freeman at more than 500 cubic feet per second. 

"Frankly I am not hearing enough," said Lake Freeman homeowner Gary Baldwin. "I am not satisfied with the point of, "well it's out of our hands", I don't believe that."

Baldwin is orchestrating a rally on Saturday at noon at the Monticello courthouse with several other home and business owners.

"If you stand up and be heard then I think that will help out," said Baldwin. 

Baldwin believes there's more that people living near and on Lake Freeman can do in order to make their voices heard and get the attention of elected officials.

"We need to go up the ladder to get this changed," said Baldwin. "That's why we need a voice out there and that's what we are trying to do, see if we can get a voice."

As New 18 previously reported back in 2012 environmental organization Fish and Wildlife mandated NIPSCO to keep water flowing from Lake Freeman toward the Oakdale Dam. This was in an effort to preserve what the organization says are endangered mussels.

"My goal is to go where Fish and Wildlife can't go, I want to go over their heads to our public officials and say, you know, you need to look at what these people are doing," said Baldwin. "Some accounting needs to be done on what they are doing to us."

This is a developing situation. Please refer to the links provided below for background. 

Click here  to read information about a meeting held at the Madam Carroll with state and local representaives regarding Lake Freeman.

For information on the Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation click here. 

News 18 would also like to thank YouTuber and Monticello native Ethan Price for permission to use areal footage of Lake Freeman. Click here for Price's YouTube channel. 

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