190315_FLOOD1

About a dozen volunteers helped Central Lutheran Church in Edgerton place sandbags around the building Thursday to prevent flooding. Water from Saunders Creek overflowed into Central Park and started creeping toward the church around 9 a.m. Thursday.

High water closed Highway 51 in Edgerton on Thursday afternoon.

The closure began at 2:36 p.m. It includes Highway 51 from West Rollin Street to Swift Street, the state Department of Transportation reported.

In other flooding developments:

  • About a dozen volunteers jumped on an opportunity to help Central Lutheran Church in Edgerton on Thursday as water from Saunders Creek flooded nearby Central Park.

Julie Buchholz, the church office administrator, noticed water inching toward the church at about 9 a.m. She and a custodian quickly made calls to round up people to help.

A dozen or so volunteers—some church members, some not—showed up to create a sandbag barrier outside the church to prevent water from seeping into the basement, Buchholz said.

By early afternoon, the potential crisis had been averted. Not a drop of water got inside the church just hours before a thunderstorm warning was issued for the northeastern portion of Rock County, Buchholz said.

The church ran into a similar situation in February 2018, when Rock County suffered through unseasonable flooding.

  • The Rock County sheriff extended a slow/no wake order for the southern part of the Rock River on Thursday.

The county slow/no wake order is triggered when the river reaches certain levels. The sheriff’s office announced the restriction from the Indianford Dam downstream to the Beloit-Rock Townline Road Bridge on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the restriction was extended downstream to the state line.

  • The sheriff’s office also continued to warn motorists to avoid high water on roads and highways.

The county highway department has published a map and a list of high-water locations on its website, www.co.rock.wi.us/ highway.

  • The Rock River gauge at Afton registered 10.4 feet Thursday morning, which the National Weather Service categorizes as minor flooding stage.

The river is predicted to recede slightly through the weekend but then to rise again, cresting at 10.7 feet Wednesday.

This story may be updated.

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