Safety crews go home-to-home in Ind.

September 18, 2008 2:55:51 PM PDT
Inspectors in Munster, Ind., are still trying to determine what led to an explosion that leveled a home in the flooded area.While authorities investigate that blast, teams of workers- including the National Guard and others- are going door-to-door in checking homes to make sure they are safe for residents to return. They're tagging properties: Green means go on in; Red means it's not safe.

"They're looking at the structural integrity of the house and disconnecting gas and electric and inspect being the entire house that it's habitable," said Mike Mellon, Munster Town Council.

The inspections come a day after a house in the evacuation zone exploded. And while the cause is still under investigation, residents are concerned about the gas and electric.

"We have questions now about how safe it iS. We're being told not to go back to our affected residences," said Nick D'Angelo, resident.

"The gas and electric has been turned off through this whole process. Wherever they can get access. Shutting off entire grids would have ruined the gas infrastructure," said Mellon.

It's a frustrating process for homeowners, who haven't had a chance to being cleanup efforts. Water is just now beginning to recede after 5 days.

"We're getting no answers. We're very frustrated," said one resident.

"My high school student has to have school tomorrow. How do we get her school bag?" said Margie Reyes, resident. "They're having Homecoming Saturday. She has her homecoming dress inside. We can't even get to it."

Despite the frustration of not getting to go home, some residents are overwhelmed by the generosity of the community. The Westminster Presbyterian Church has turned itself into an outreach center by providing clothes, food, toys, and tetanus shots.

"You know, just be grateful for all we have,"s aid said Elaine Burbich resident.

The church said it has enough clothes, but needs things like mops, buckets and cleaning supplies, surgical masks and gloves, and canned goods.


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