January 31, 2013

Two East Linden garages washed away

River wall gave way into Eel River

by Caitlin Huston

— A portion of two East Linden Avenue garages were carried into the Eel River Wednesday after the river wall collapsed.

Russell Alder, the owner of one of the garages at 209 and 211 East Linden Ave., said he woke up Wednesday morning to see the contents of the back part of his garage in the river. George Franklin, Logansport’s code enforcement officer, said the river wall appeared to have eroded and been carried into the river.

Alder said he had time to take his tools and some spare tires out of the garage, but the rest of the contents were in the process of falling into the water.

“It all went splashing into the river,” Adler said.

The garage was shared between Adler and his neighbors.

His neighbor, Hayli Ogle, said she believed the river wall had given way overnight.

Franklin said he went out to the properties Wednesday afternoon and believes the dirt underneath the wall had been washed away.

“Probably the water over the years has just eroded underneath the wall,” Franklin said.

Franklin estimated that a 20- to 30-foot section was missing.

Alvin Beckman, Cass County EMA director, said he would also be inspecting the property and passing along his inspections to state agencies. However, he said he believed it would be each property owner’s responsibility to repair the wall, with some possible monetary aid.

“There might be some ways of getting some assistance for the homeowner to make the necessary repairs,” Beckman said.

Franklin said Ogle’s property is owned by Logansport landlord Jeff Murray.

He said the city has not been able to locate Murray since the beginning of December.

Ogle said she had not yet moved in to the property because she had been cleaning it for several days.

Adler said the contents in the garage on Ogle’s property, which he believed belonged to Murray, were spilling into the river Wednesday afternoon, including old TVs, couches and chairs, he said.

“It’s a mess,” Adler said. “It’s really a mess.”

Though some of the contents had settled on a river bank, Adler said he expected the water to rise and sweep the belongings away.

“Sooner or later the river’s going to come up and wash it all away,” Adler said.

He said he would wait to see what his mortgage company said.

“I contacted my mortgage company,” Adler said. “There’s really nothing I can do about it.”

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or