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Southern Indiana town surprised with outcome as flood levels peak

As a small river town, Utica has been hit hard with floods in the past.

UTICA, Ind. — On the edge of the Ohio River, sits a quaint, community driven neighborhood.

For 11 months out of the year, it brings nothing but beauty and easy access to water activities. Ever so often, Utica, Indiana is faced with a flood.

“The river plays a vital part to our little town. These people living on the river, you accept that,” Steve Long said.

Long is the Utica Town Board President and said after flooding nearly three years ago, they were expecting this week to be worse.

“[In] 2018, we had a lot of houses underwater and one house is a lot when you’re a small town,” he said.

Luckily, the calm after the storm provides a sigh of relief.

“We had sunshine and no rain for this week, and it saved the runoff and the town of Utica’s real fortunate,” he said. "As far as the town of Utica we've done everything to prepare, we've got pumps, we've got sandbags, we were ready to go, and we were scared that the river would get higher."

Driving around town, one could tell how prepared the community was. Houses above ground and properties untouched – people on standby for when things do get messy.

“The river’s not for quitters,” Long said. “But the Utica people will help out. Our maintenance department guys are ready to go shovel some mud.”

Long said the river life is certainly a chosen lifestyle.

"If you want to live on the river, and you want to enjoy that beautiful river, it just gets in your veins you know that you're going to get flooded one of these days and you have to accept it."

Contact reporter Jessie Cohen at JCohen@whas11.com and follow her on TwitterFacebook or Instagram

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