Flooded rivers still causing headaches for local residents
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
FORT ATKINSON – It’s hard to think about the two weeks of non-stop rain we saw earlier this month on a day like the 80 degree temperatures we saw Tuesday. But the Rock and Fox Rivers are still under flood warnings, and some residents are using their boats for purposes other than recreation.
"I didn't know the boat was made to go to work,” Kurt Cutsforth said.
Cutsforth found himself paddling through the Rock River once it over-spilled its banks after the record rains.
"It was waist high in the middle of the road, miserable, miserable," he said. "By the time we got the sand in the bags the water was… the damage was already there."
Fixing the damage is going to be difficult, many homes are still surrounded by water.
"A lot of people aren't even down there anymore, they kind of leave," Luke Steffen says.
Steffen grew up in Fort Atkinson, and while the flooding was worse in 2008, he thinks this is one of the worst years he has ever seen.
Making repairs may take some time, according to Badger Basement Systems Foreman Aaron Underwood.
"I know we're swamped right now," he said.
The days of endless rain created such a backlog for basement contractors that some like Badger Basement Systems are already booked through June. They have received a flood of calls from the flooding rains.
"In three days we had over 1000 estimate calls come in from pumps being out to basements flooding and leaking," Underwood explained.
Leaving residents like Cutsforth appreciative of the drier weather.
"It's going down, couple inches a day right now," he said.
Cutsforth and his neighbors may be back to driving on the once closed, but still flooded roads but they are still staying alert.
"Just because it’s not raining and it hasn’t rained for awhile, don’t let your guard down," Underwood said. "We have another big 2-3 in. of rain and we could be back to square one again."
Flooded residents of Jefferson County are thankful that the rain in the forecast this time will be measured in fractions of an inch this time. They remain hopeful the additional water won't create further river rises.