Flood Waters Slowly Receding

(Columbus) Flood waters are starting to subside in some communities but the situation is not over. The Crawfish River at Columbus is now below action stage after cresting late last week at 17.6-feet; it is now closer to 15-feet. Last week, officials in Columbus checked 175 homes and evacuated 40 residents along with another 15-to-20 in one apartment complex. The bridge at Highway 16-60 is still closed due to high water, along with a couple other city roads.

There are also road closures remaining elsewhere in Columbia County, including Highway 188 in Lodi and Highway 44 in Pardeeville. In Dodge County, Highway 28 remains closed at Highway 175 in Theresa.

There are still some road closures in Waupun where the Rock River crested at 8.6-feet. The Rock is now considered near flood stage at around five-feet and dropping.  The Waupun-area is the no longer under a flood warning like many river front communities.

In addition to Columbus, flood warnings remain at Reedsburg, Baraboo, Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Lake Koshkonong, Milford, Princeton, Berlin and Portage. The governor declared a state of emergency on Friday while individual municipalities made a similar declaration, that includes Columbus, Pardeeville, Lodi and Columbia County.

Fond du Lac County Emergency Management Director Bobbi Hicken says it is way too early to know if there is going to be any funding made available to reimburse people for their losses during this past week’s flooding. Hicken says they have been getting plenty of calls about the issue. She does have some suggestions for people who have suffered losses due to flooding. Residents should document their losses, any work done and expenses in connection with their losses and also take lots of pictures.

The United Way of Fond du Lac is currently accepting financial donations that will be used as needed throughout the community for flood relief.  Checks can be made out to the United Way of Fond du Lac with FDL Flooding in the memo line. Those looking to donate supplies and materials to the Salvation Army should call 920-923-8220. Donations through the United Way can be mailed to 74 South Main Street, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 54935. 

The private well section chief for the state Department of Natural Resources says if your private well for drinking water is covered by flood waters you should assume the water is contaminated. Liesa Lehmann says any water supply system that has been submerged by flood waters should be pumped out once the floodwater recedes, then thoroughly disinfected and tested to determine that the water is safe. She says disinfection and sampling is best done by a licensed well driller or pump installer.

Wisconsin is observing Flood Safety Awareness Week starting Monday.  Ready Wisconsin wants people to know their risk for flooding and also to purchase flood insurance.  Other tips to follow include having an emergency supply kit ready for evacuations, making home repairs to keep water out, and not to drive on roads covered by flood waters.