SOUTH BEND – It looks like things are only getting worse for those living near the old ethanol plant in South Bend.
Their Calvert Street homes have flooded since the plant shut down in November. For a while, people living there hoped the plant would reopen so the underground water level would be lowered.
Driving past the former New Energy Corporation ethanol plant, you can tell it's empty.
"But right now, it's fearful, we don't know what to do," said homeowner Catherine Washington.
When New Energy was still in operation, it used up 6 million gallons of groundwater every day. But in November, it shut down, allowing water levels to rise and flood Catherine Washington's basement and her neighbors’ homes.
"It's not fair, it's hurtful. It's a shame for the homeowners. We pay our mortgage every month. We pay our taxes in good faith and now we have to run into something that we don't know how to handle," said Washington.
Washington hoped a new owner would take over the plant and start pumping water, but two liquidators bought it at auction for $2.5 million, meaning the plant could be dismantled and sold for its parts.
"So now they're selling out, and they're doing whatever they're doing to make their money. What about us?" asked Washington.
"Basically, makes me worry that our basement flooding is inevitable. It's going to happen," said Mark Kidder.
Kidder's basement hasn't flooded yet, but it's a possibility. And he says moving won't be easy. "Who would want to buy our house now if we were interested in selling it?" he questioned.
Just another concern these homeowners never dreamed they would have when they moved in.
There will be a public meeting Thursday regarding flooding issues from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Rum Village Nature Center in South Bend.