Janesville41.4°

Rising Rock River creeping into businesses

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
April 22, 2008
— Water continues to seep into buildings near the river in downtown Janesville and has found its way into places it’s never been seen.

Jackie Wood, a longtime downtown businesswoman, said she’s never had water in the Olde Towne Mall. Wood bought the building in 1986.


Nancy Johnson, a lawyer at Brennan Steil & Basting, said the law building usually takes on some water every year. But this year, the water seems to be hanging on longer.


Both women figure it has a lot to do with the record amount of snow that piled up across the state.


Wood said water started seeping in about a week ago to the lower level of the Olde Towne Mall. It comes through seams in the concrete.


The downstairs tenants temporarily have moved upstairs.


“I just put a $83,000 rubber roof on the top, and now I’ve got it coming in from the bottom.” she said. “I feel like I’m jinxed.”


The water had subsided a bit this morning.


Wood has hired workers who are putting in two, eight-hour shifts every day vacuuming water.


Nancy Johnson, a lawyer at Brennan Steil & Basting, 1 E. Milwaukee St., said this year’s water is the worst since a spring in the early 1990s.


“We do have a little water in the basement,” she said, describing a thin film of water on the floor. Several sump pumps are working constantly.


Traditionally, any water has subsided quickly, usually within a day or two, Johnson said. This year, it seems to be hanging on longer.


“We’ve dealt with this in the past,” Johnson said.


“Everything we have that is important is up higher.”



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