As flooding hits area, rains forecast to continue

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

— Public safety and public works officials spent Tuesday tussling with weather-related problems that ranged from power poles on fire to flooded intersections.

Many homeowners spent Tuesday in dismayed amazement, marveling at the amount of water their basements could hold.

All of those public and private problems will be exacerbated by an unambiguous forecast: 100 percent chance of rain through Thursday night.

Nick Labansky, co-owner of Dry Otter Basement Waterproofing and Repair, said the calls have been non-stop.

“At one house, there was a stream of water shooting out of a crack in the foundation about three feet,” Labansky said. “The homeowners were collecting the water in buckets.”

In another home, about six inches of water had collected in the basement—it was all groundwater infiltration.

“We’ve had water coming in through window wells and even water coming over foundation walls,” Labansky said.

The frost is out of the ground in most places, so the water does have some chance to settle in. However, the ground can only absorb so much moisture, he said.

How bad is it? The Rock River is at or near flood stage in the Afton and Newville areas, as is the Sugar River near Avon, according to the National Weather Service.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday:

-- The Rock River in Newville was at 6.1 feet. Flood stage is 5.5 feet.

-- The Rock River at the north end of Lake Koshkonong was at 9.8 feet. Flood stage is 10 feet, and water is expected to rise above flood stage by this morning and continue to rise to near 11.3 feet by Saturday night.

At 11.3 feet, knee-deep water covers Blackhawk Island Road in the town of Sumner.

-- The Rock River in Afton was at 9.6 feet. Flood stage is 9.1 feet.

At 11.5 feet, water surrounds at least two homes near the river, a number of secondary roads in the Afton area are closed and water covers South River Road on the south side of Janesville.

-- The Sugar River in Brodhead was at 2.3 feet. Flood stage is at 5 feet. However, the water is expected to rise above flood stage by Thursday morning.

Town of Fulton clerk-treasurer Connie Zimmerman said one resident had stopped by to pick up sandbags.

“He lives on Ellendale Road, and he was being very proactive,” Zimmerman said. “He didn’t want a repeat of 2008.”

In 2008, the county suffered record flooding.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office reminded residents to avoid traveling through high water on roads and to report any roads that are impassible.

Residents should call the sheriff’s office at 608-757-2244 to report any high water or roads that are impassable.

Sgt. Shena Kohler of the Rock County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division said deputies are reporting flooding they see while on patrol.


Last updated: 10:27 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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