News From Terre Haute, Indiana


November 2, 2013

Evacuated: Leaking roof forces 96 Clinton residents out of apartments during heavy rain

CLINTON — For some Clinton residents, Thursday’s steady rain resulted in a leaky roof and an evacuation of the Chateau Apartments on the city’s near south side.

But as autumn sunshine started to dry out the Vermillion County community on Friday, most Chateau occupants were able to return to their apartments, and a construction crew resumed work to replace roofing that had allowed rainwater to seep into third floor ceilings and cause electrical problems in the apartment building.

“It was a roof leak. There was no collapse,” property manager Jenica Yocum told the Tribune-Star on Friday morning.

Stacks of new roofing materials could be seen on the property, and a work crew was on the job in the wake of Thursday evening’s reported problems that caused 96 people to be evacuated to temporary quarters.

“It was a safety precaution because water got into the electrical,” Yocum said of the evacuation, noting that only 5 to 10 apartments were affected by water infiltration. When asked how many residents could return to their homes Friday, she replied, “The majority will.”

Clinton Police Chief Perry Hollowell said the call for help initially came in as a roof collapse at the Chateau, and that was a much scarier scenario than what had actually occurred.

“When I got there with Mayor Jack Gilfoy, we were expecting to look up and see the night sky and stars,” Hollowell said. “But when we got in there and looked up, we saw that it wasn’t the case. It wasn’t a structural problem.”

In places where the ceiling had gotten saturated by rainwater, chunks and pieces of the ceiling had collapsed to the floor, he said.

“At first, it sounded a lot worse than it was,” Hollowell said. “Our biggest concern was that water and electricity don’t mix well together.”

He commended the Chateau property manager and staff for having an emergency plan of action that they used to safely evacuate the residents and house them elsewhere.

Some residents were taken to the apostolic church next door to wait out during the continuous rainfall. Still others were soon picked up by relatives or friends who agreed to take them in during the crisis.

Hollowell said that arrangements were made for 25 rooms reserved at the Renatto Inn, and another 75 rooms reserved at a Terre Haute hotel.

Earlier on Thursday, city officials had learned that rain was seeping into the Chateau where some roof work was occurring, he said. It appears that the roofers put down felt paper in an attempt to keep the rain out, but that didn’t handle the heavy rainfall that continued into the night.

The evacuation of the residents went well, the police chief said. Local emergency services teams have trained together for such scenarios, and they worked well on the dark and stormy Thursday night.

“There was no bickering, and that was kind of unusual,” he said of the tension that sometimes comes with high-stress scenarios.

The disabilities of some of the residents made it more challenging to move some people, Hollowell said.

“It went pretty well. We had a few who didn’t want to leave, of course,” he said. “The biggest problem was the people who left and didn’t tell us. Some of them had their own cars, so they just left, and when others got to the motels, they had family waiting on them to take them home so they left without telling us.”

As a precaution, a few residents were transferred to the local West Central Community Hospital due to pre-existing medical conditions. No one was injured by the falling ceilings or the evacuation, he said.

The South Vermillion School Corporation sent school buses to the scene to transfer people to their temporary quarters. The American Red Cross also assisted in the transitions, and the Hillcrest Community Center opened its doors to accept anyone who needed a place to wait for the night.

The husband and wife team of Jim and Linda Snider returned to Hillcrest on Friday morning to prepare for the upcoming community Thanksgiving meal.

Any time the Red Cross needs an emergency shelter in Clinton, Jim Snider said, the community center is ready to open. It turns out that their services were not needed Thursday night, but when Red Cross organizer Freida Rutan contacted them to be prepared, the doors of Hillcrest were open to anyone needing shelter.

“We’re glad we’re able to do this,” he said.

Back at the Renatto Inn, the temporary move couldn’t end soon enough for Terry Burrus, who spent Thursday night at the hotel along Indiana 63 just west of Clinton.

“I thought it was just a fire drill,” Burrus said of how he learned about the building problems late Thursday. A first-floor resident of the Chateau for the past eight months, Burrus said he was able to grab some personal items and medication to take to the hotel.

“Personally, it was pretty organized,” he said of the evacuation and the sheltering of the residents. “I felt sorry for some of the folks who were in wheelchairs and needed help.”

 Among others waiting Thursday morning at the Chateau were Lela Wilson, Candy Gurney and Charles Fisher.

Wilson said she lives on the first floor, and she was unaware of the building problems until the evacuation.

“They gave us five minutes to go in and get clothing and stuff like that,” she said.

Gurney said she was worried about the food that was left in her refrigerator since the power to the building was shut off due to the electrical concerns.

Fisher said he has resided at the Chateau for two separate periods, this last time being almost 10 years. He said it is a concern to him that people in wheelchairs reside on the third floor, because they could have difficulty getting out of the building in an emergency. Fortunately on Thursday evening, assistance came from policemen and firefighters.

Property Manager Yocum said the damage to the apartments was contained to units on the third floor in the east end of building. Once the electricity was shut off, the entire facility had to be evacuated.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, assistant property manager Angel Martin said that all residents of the first and second floors had returned to their apartments, and almost everyone on the third floor had returned.

Martin said that Chateau will cover the hotel costs for its residents and there will be no out-of-pocket expenses for them because of the evacuation.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Broken Water Main Floods UCLA In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Wisc. Twins Celebrate a Century of Laughter Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Bull Run Comes to Middle America Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News