Tuesday, March 4, 1997
Aurora police can't work
from their 1st floor

At 10 a.m. a state of emergency was declared in Dearborn County, Ind., said Bill Black, director of the county emergency management office.

In the city of Aurora, water reached the first floor of the police station. Officers moved files to the second floor, and the dispatcher was temporarily relocated to the telephone company office.

Aurora Councilman Charlie Thayer, helping evacuate the Ohio Valley Kitchen warehouse where he works, said he expected the lower end of town past Third Street to get wet.

At Ridge Transmission, near Third and Judiciary streets, owner Alan Fieler had raised one car on a 6-foot hoist to keep it out of the water. Mr. Fieler, in business at the site for six months, said he was surprised to learn Monday morning that his insurance does not cover floods. If the water rises much higher ''it will probably put me out of business,'' he said.

Avoiding scams:

Tips from experts on common scams that follow a natural disaster, and how to avoid them:

Transient contractors and fly-by-night remodelers are drawn to disaster areas. Deal with local or area businesses. For guidance, contact the Better Business Bureau or state attorney general's consumer protection division.

Insist on a written contract that includes all supplies, description of work and costs. Get several estimates if possible.

Never pay up front. Limit amount of ''progress payments'' to value of work already finished. Never sign completion-of-work statement before job is completed and inspected.

Deal with local lenders. Never pay advance fee for ''guaranteed'' loan.

Beware of charities purporting to collect for victims. Confirm identities of people claiming to represent established charities.

Demand identification of people representing themselves as government officials. Con artists may pose as building inspectors and order immediate repairs they can do on the side.

For information, contact the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau: 421-3015, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; in Kentucky, the attorney general's consumer protection division, (502) 573-2200.

Calling for help:

Cincinnati's Public Works Customer Service Center hot line at 591-6000 will take non-emergency flood-related questions.

For information on city streets, call SmarTravler at 333-3333.

Floods sink concerts:

Annie's Riverside Saloon at 4343 Kellogg Ave. is now Annie's Underwater Saloon.

Concerts have been canceled for ''at least the next two weeks,'' said club spokesman Gregg St. Charles.

Refunds are available at point of purchase.

Call 321-0220.

Lions, tigers & floods:

Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus officials hope the show will go on Wednesday night when they open at Riverfront Coliseum downtown. The circus train is chugging to Cincinnati from Charlotte, N.C., and has experienced delays along rail lines. But officials said Monday they expect to arrive without a problem.

Circus officials are to inspect the riverfront area today before deciding whether the show will be postponed.

Enquirer staff

The following Enquirer staff members contributed to today's coverage of flooding.

Graphics: Ron Cosby, Lisa Griffis, Ron Huff, John Humenik, Randy Mazzola, Rob Schuster, Kevin Miyazaki.

Photo: Ernest Coleman, Doug Cochran, Liz Dufour, Charles Fry, Glenn Hartong, Michael E. Keating, Patrick Reddy, Craig Ruttle, Michael Snyder, Dick Swaim.

Editors: Nancy Berlier, Dom Cappa, Richard Green, Mark Ivancic, Pete Johnson, Janet C. Leach, Ron Liebau, Leisa Richardson, Jim Smith, Andrew Oppmann, Mark Wert, David Wells, J. Dennis Doherty.

Newsdesk: Randy Allen, Karen Bells, Barrett J. Brunsman, Jack Cannon, Jim Calhoun, Kelly Curnutte, Bill Ferguson, Shari Goldhagen, Bruce Holtgren, Nikki Kingery, Sue Lancaster, Donna Marsh, Gayle McCaskey, Kathy McDermott, Gina Moore, Joe Powell, Kathy Schwartz, Drew Sottardi, Pat Tolzmann, Tim VonderBrink, John Wolfe.

Reporters: Mike Boyer, Guy Boulton, Mark Braykovich, Perry Brothers, Mark Curnutte, Lisa Donovan, John Eckberg, Lisa Biank Fasig, Terry Flynn, Laura Goldberg, B.G. Gregg, Gregory A. Hall, Michael Hawthorne, Allen Howard, Ben L. Kaufman, John Johnston, Julie Irwin, Kym Liebler, Sue MacDonald, Lucy May, Sheila McLaughlin, Cameron McWhirter, Beth Menge, Bernie Mixon, Larry Nager, Tom O'Neill, Kimbra Postlewaite, Jane Prendergast, Cindy Schroeder, Mark Skertic, Sandy Theis, Andrea Tortora, Leah Beth Ward, Howard Wilkinson, Adam Weintraub.