Janesville79.7°

Residents along river urged to evacuate

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
January 23, 2008
— Residents along a portion of South River Road were urged but not ordered to evacuate Thursday as the Rock River continued to rise.

A Rock County sheriff’s deputy brought that news to 11 families between 3200 and 3800 South River Road on Tuesday. The road is posted as closed between Highway 11 and Happy Hollow Road.


One resident who drove through that stretch this morning said water on the road was 2 to 4 inches high.


One family evacuated and is living with relatives, said Chief Deputy Barb Tillman of the Rock County Sheriff’s Department. Others decided to wait and see.


Residents reported water in their basements, but it was not clear how high the water has risen, Tillman said.


Rock County Emergency Management Coordinator Shirley Connors asked that affected residents do as much as they can to make evacuation easier. She said pets must be caged in an evacuation, so residents might want to move pets ahead of time.


Ice jams farther south are keeping the water high.


Robert Rogers said he has lived at 3826 S. River Road since 1963 and has seen flooding like this very few times and rarely in winter.


David Schmidtke, 2819 S. River Road, said his house is safe for the moment, but he has moved things to the second floor and made lists of things to cart out.


The river is considered at flood stage when the gauge at Afton registers 9 feet. The gauge was at 11.6 feet Tuesday. The gauge as registered on the U.S. Geological Survey Web site was showing water over the 12-foot line at 8:30 a.m. today.


The river was predicted to crest at 12.5 feet Friday morning before falling, but Schmidtke said he’s not taking any chances.


“The thing is, they don’t know what could happen with the cold weather,” Schmidtke said.


The mercury is expected to hit minus 10 degrees tonight. It isn’t expected to be above freezing until Saturday.


Free sandbags and sand are available at the Rock Town Hall on Afton Road. Residents should bring their own shovels.


Anyone affected by flooding can call (608) 757-2244 for assistance.



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