Walker, Ryan visit flooded areas as residents assess damage

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Xavier Ward
Thursday, July 13, 2017

ELKHORN—Dodd Davey and his wife Kathy awoke around 1 a.m. Wednesday to their 17-year-old son Derek telling them the basement was flooding.

They expected water to be gathering in a corner or two, not covering the whole basement, Dodd said.

After they moved furniture out of the basement and tried to clean up what water they could, they thought they had seen the end of it, Dodd said.

When they checked the basement again at 6 a.m., they found more than 4 inches of water on the floor. A window was nearly submerged, Dodd said.

“The panic we had in our eyes,” Dodd said. “It was unlike anything we'd seen before.”

The Daveys are in early talks with their insurance company, but there hasn't been a damage estimate given yet. Dodd said he's just happy no one was hurt.

“You can always replace the carpet,” he said.

The Daveys' neighbor, Evergreen Country Club, was also inundated by the flood.

Water ripped up some blacktop, flooded a number of fairways and even dislodged a footbridge near the third hole, General Manager Bill Rogers said.

The club lucked out in a way because Sugar Creek Runs through the course, so water tends to drain quickly. The course intends to open at noon Friday for an event, Rogers said.

There was no damage in any of the club's buildings, Rogers said.

The flooding has also caused some problems for boat owners on Delavan Lake, Town of Delavan Police Chief Ray Clark said.

The lake's water level rose 22 inches after the storm, which caused boats and personal water crafts to float off their lifts onto other parts of the lake, Clark said.

“We're still corralling boats right now,” Clark said. So far, the department has towed more than 20 boats to an area where owners can pick them up, he said.

The department issued a slow, no wake order Wednesday, which will likely continue through the weekend until the water returns to a safe level, Clark said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan returned to his district Thursday for a media event in Burlington, where some of the worst flooding has occurred, according to a news release from Ryan's office.

Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency for Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties Thursday.

Walker and other state officials were also in Burlington on Thursday morning to view flood damage, according to a news release.

"Many homes and businesses have been impacted by flooding. Sandbagging efforts continue throughout the region. So far, there have been no reports of fatalities," the release reads.

Walker directed several state agencies to help those who have been affected by flooding, according to the release.

Walker also called the Wisconsin National Guard to state active duty, as Adjutant Gen. Donald Dunbar deems necessary, to assist local authorities in the recovery efforts.

For farmers, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture issued a statement warning produce growers to monitor their wells if they use well water to wash produce because flooding can cause well contamination.

The governor's proclamation makes no mention of funding to help property owners or local governments.

Officials at the Walworth County Sheriff's Office were unavailable for comment regarding other affected areas of the county.

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