Cowden was hit hard by rain that flooded streets and homes over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Shelby County Dive Team was called out Friday and Saturday to help people stranded in floodwater. No injuries were reported.

“We got six inches of rain and it flooded the north end of town,” said Cowden Mayor Loren Barnes. “Some people had water under their homes and in them. I felt sorry for them. It took a while for it to work its way down the sewer.”

Barnes said that it was just too much rain at one time for what the sewers could handle and it took a while to recede.

“It started Friday night and it took until Saturday about 3 p.m. before it went down to where you could tell the difference,” Barnes said.

He gave credit to city workers, who were out trying to alleviate the problem and were fixing streets early Saturday morning in the rain.

“It is sad when we get that much rain and it floods the north end,” Barnes said. “By Saturday evening the water was down where it was four or five feet from people’s homes.”

Barnes has been mayor for 15 years and has seen this situation before.

“Anytime we get over two inches of rain,” Barnes said. “The drainage is not as good as it could be. This was bad, but I have seen it worse.”

Barnes said that several years ago the water was across the highway.

“It wasn’t as bad this time, but this was bad,” Barnes said.

Authorities said no injuries were reported in rescues overseen by the Shelby County Dive Team.

“Both of these were cases of people driving into flooded roadways,” reported Shelby County Dive Team Commander Austin Pritchard.

Pritchard said his team was first called out at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday to a call that an individual was trapped on top of a vehicle at 150 N Road, three miles east of Route 32.

“The person was rescued without incident, only cold and wet,” Pritchard said.

The Effingham County Dive Team also responded. Shelby County was also assisted by the Stewardson and Sigel Fire departments, providing lighting for the operation. Shelby County Sheriff’s Department was also on the scene.

On Saturday night, the Shelby County Dive Team was called out again. Just before 6:30 p.m. they were requested to help seven individuals on 1000 E Road, just south of 2200 N Road.

“All seven were rescued with no injuries,” reported Pritchard. “Only cold and wet.”

Other agencies responding on Saturday were the Assumption Fire & Ambulance and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

John Curtis can be reached at

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