TOWN OF MILTON
Kathy Schultz had to walk gingerly over ice in a neighbor’s yard to get to a car that was parked on a rural road north of Milton on Thursday.
She and her neighbors can’t drive their cars in or out of the cul-de-sac where they live because of deep water and ice at the intersection of Oakview Drive and Serns Road.
Schultz and her 15 neighbors are some of the rural Rock County residents dealing with floodwaters in places where flooding hasn’t happened before.
Schultz said she has a neighbor who has lived on Oakview Drive since 2000 and has seen water rise along Serns Road—but never high enough to block it.
Another stranded subdivision is along Sable Drive, off Kennedy Road between Janesville and Milton, where Charla Piper said her kids had to hike over a hill to get to a dry spot, where they were picked up, in order to get to school.
“Everybody’s just trapped in here,” she said of the approximately 12 flood-isolated homes.
Piper said no signs were placed to warn of the high water. She was told the county ran out of signs.
“If someone hits that water tonight, they’re going to go under,” Piper said. “They’re going to be under water before they know it.”
The county sent a plow through the water just before noon Thursday, breaking up the ice that had crusted over the top, but the water rushed back across the road.
Water was still flowing into Piper’s basement Thursday, two days after the rain stopped. A neighbor loaned her a pump, and a plumber hiked over the hill to install a stronger sump pump, she said.
It’s inconvenient, Schultz and Piper said, but they’re managing.
“It’ll be OK unless I need to get my mom out for an emergency,” Piper said.
Piper called the Rock County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Bureau, asking if sandbags could be delivered to her house. “No,” she was told.
“I said, ‘Is somebody working on a plan?’ and they said, ‘Yeah,’ but that’s all they would say,” Piper said.
Emergency management officials were at a conference and couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
The Gazette tried to get a list of roads closed by flooding. Sheriff’s office officials referred the question to the 911 center, which suggested the Rock County Public Works Department.
Public works did not return calls.
Battalion Chief Ryan Murphy of the Janesville Fire Department said he hasn’t heard of any flooded area that is too deep for fire engines.
The department has a brush truck that can handle high water, and if worse comes to worst, firefighters can use their boats, Murphy said.
Vincent Street on the west side of Milton is also closed by a pond that has formed on both sides of the street. The water is so high that only the word “high” can be seen on a warning sign that says “high water.” Other signs and barricades indicate the road is closed, however.
Another iced-over pond covers East Rotamer Road near the intersection with Tarrant Road southeast of Milton. A lone driver went into that water Wednesday night. Milton firefighters were called to rescue him. No one was injured.
In Edgerton, Highway 51 remained closed at Swift Street on Thursday, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Janesville reported Wednesday that all the streets closed for flooding had reopened.