Experiencing a flood, without the water


Wednesday, August 13 2008

            Perusing the inside of the Natural Resources Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, you’re sure to notice the huge model of a small town, filled with fake creeks with names like Pebble Creek, Branch Creek and Cascade Creek.

The display is featured at the DNR Division of Water booth and demonstrates how flooding after a huge storm would look from a bird’s eye view, a phenomenon Indiana is all too familiar with after this summer’s insane flooding in June.

A pre-recorded video narrates step-by-step as the water seeps through the mini-town. In between demonstrations, news clips from earlier this summer show real-life damage of floods. A tri-fold board warns passersby that “everyone lives in a flood zone.”

Beneath that attention-grabber are a few facts related to flooding, such as “every home is at risk of some form of flooding, which can result from anything from heavy rain to melting snow” and “the average flood insurance policy costs $500 every year.” That may sound like a lot of dough to dish out all at once, but if the alternative is paying for flood damage on your own after the fact I’d go with the policy in a heartbeat.

Floods don’t affect just high-risk areas. According to the Division of Water, 25 percent of flood insurance claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas. The model and information will be up until the State Fair closes Sunday night.

            Outside the NRB doors, I came across Christa Thacker and Carrie Miller from the Indiana State Museum. They are part of the Roving Naturalist series and were showing off some very cool stuff related to Ice Age animals of Indiana. On their cart were casts of mammoth and mastodon teeth (which were, and I believe this is the technical term, freaking huge). They also had a claw from a giant sloth and a giant beaver skull, which were actually casts made of resin or plastic.

One artifact that was the real deal was the rib bone of a mastodon, estimated to be at least 10,000 years old!

Just another day in the NRB at the Indiana State Fair.

– Katy


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