Indiana floodwaters claim Latvian woman’s life

Divers in Indianapolis, Ind., have recovered the body of a 78-year-old Latvian woman who died when the pickup truck she was driving disappeared in floodwaters along Fall Creek, according to local television station WTHR.

Maiga Elberts disappeared the evening of Sept. 1 after record rainfall caused flooding across central Indiana. She was one of several people authorities suspected may have been trapped by floodwaters.

Rescuers were thwarted by fast-flowing water and debris in Fall Creek, according to media reports. They finally reached the pickup truck early Sept. 3.

Maiga Elberts had driven to a local drug store buy supplies for a church newsletter, her husband, Jānis Elberts, told WTHR. She volunteered at the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Indianapolis.

Authorities temporarily suspended the search for Maiga Elberts on Sept. 2. While she might still have been trapped in the vehicle, one police official expressed doubt that she could still be alive, according to The Indianapolis Star.

In addition to her husband, Maiga Elberts is survived by three children, including a son, Aldis. Aldis Elberts is pastor of the Church of the Holy Cross in Melbourne, Australia, and oversees online discussions about religious faith for Latvians Online.

Central Indiana received more than seven inches (about 18 cm) of rain on Sept. 1, breaking a 108-year record.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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