Pence seeks disaster declaration in 53 counties

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Pence seeks disaster declaration in 53 counties

Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Joe Donnelly are asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack for a disaster declaration for 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties because of crop damage and losses caused by flooding and excessive rain.

Jackson County, along with Brown, Bartholomew, Jennings, Lawrence, Scott and Washington counties, are included in that declaration.

The Brownstown Wastewater Treatment plant recorded 11.25 inches of rain in July, while the average rainfall during the month is about 4 inches. Some areas of the county have received substantially more. On July 15, the East Fork White River at Rockford crested at 19.53, the fourth-highest crest recorded.

Pence wrote in a letter to Vilsack that unprecedented heavy rainfall has had a significant impact on the yield of Indiana crops, saying federal emergency loan assistance is prudent and warranted.

Pence said in 50 counties, reported crop damage and losses have met or exceeded 30 percent of a crop, and three counties have experienced a significant number of damages and losses to multiple crops.

Under a disaster designation, low-interest emergency loans would be made available to all producers suffering losses in that county, as well as in counties contiguous to a disaster-designated county.