Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

A first-hand look at flooding

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Greg Peck
Monday, July 1, 2013

Rain on Saturday delayed by another day a trip to Muscodaóour first of the seasonófor an afternoon of yard work. Flooding problems didnít appear to be as bad in the region as I imagined. Sure, lots of folks around southwestern Wisconsin had wet basements and other property damage. But only the 20 feet or so of land closest to the Wisconsin River on our lot was soggy. The river was running full Sunday, but it didnít top the normal embankment. My wife and I spotted a group of canoeists out despite the swift current, though up and down the river, we saw no signs of sandbars where such paddlers like to stop and even camp. A neighbor told us she thought them foolish, pointing out that a group had to be rescued downriver in recent days.

Another neighbor had told me that a hill at the stockyard near Muscoda had a mudslide that looked as if a giant took his massive paw and pulled the hilltop straight down, leaving a muddy scar. I didnít even know the stockyard existed, and we didnít take time to see it Sunday. Neither did we go to see the damage in nearby Boscobel, ravaged by flooding that hit the national news.

Instead, we took time to mow, clean up branches, cut down another dead pine and then visit with neighbors. A report I saw from Wisconsin Emergency Management on Friday said Highway 60 between Gotham and Muscoda was still closed, so we had driven our second option for reaching Muscoda--highways 18-151 west out of Madison. We stayed on 18 to Dodgeville, then Cobb before turning north on Highway 80, which takes you through little but aptly named Highland. While chatting with friends Sunday, we learned that Highway 60 had reopened after repairs where heavy rains had scraped embankments and washed away shoulders. At least it wasnít as bad as Highway 61, where a massive mudslide reportedly buried part of that roadway.

We took Highway 60 home and could see where road crews had toiled. The marshlands were waterlogged, but at no point was the water threatening the road. During our drive, we saw many corn and soybean fields that looked in great shape from all the recent rains, though plants in pockets of low-lying land had suffocated.

Did the flooding affect your property, or have you had a chance to observe damages here in Rock County or elsewhere in southern Wisconsin?

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 8:25 am Monday, July 29, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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