Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser today (Thursday, April 18, 2013) declared a local state of emergency for parts of Kenosha County as a result of flooding.
“Due to the recent heavy rains that have caused sporadic flooding throughout Kenosha County, a Local State of Emergency is in effect,” Kreuser said.
The Emergency Declaration states:
“The Fox River, which lies in Western Kenosha County, is currently at 13.19 feet. The flood stage is 10 feet, and, per the National Weather Service, the Fox River is predicted to crest on Saturday, April 20th at 14.9 feet. This imminent rapid rise in the levels of the Fox River will result in dangerous flooding conditions for those residents living along or near the Fox River in the Towns of Wheatland and Salem and the Village of Silver Lake. Residents whose homes are along the Fox River south of Highway 50 and North of Highway F are strongly urged to evacuate low-lying areas until river levels recede. Additionally, there is flooding on the Kilbourne Creek impacting the Pleasant Prairie Mobile Home Court, which is being evacuated.”
All residents with storm or flood damages are asked to call Kenosha County Emergency Management’s Damage Hotline at 262-605-7924, to report their flood/storm damages. This information will be utilized for a Damage Report that will be sent to Wisconsin Emergency Management to determine what resources and assistance is available to Kenosha County residents.
Residents with contaminated wells from floodwaters should have their wells tested before resuming use of their water. Floodwaters can contain bacteria and waste contaminants that threaten water supplies. Kenosha County Division of Health is making free well test kits available to residents whose wells have been contaminated by flood waters. The free well test kits are available from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the following locations:
• Kenosha County Division of Health, Kenosha County Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road, Suite 600, Kenosha;
• Kenosha County Department of Human Services/Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development, Kenosha County Center, 19600 75th Street, Bristol.
For further information about health and safety hazards related to flooding and recommendations for clean-up, please contact the Kenosha County Division of Health at (262) 605-6700 or visit the website at www.kenoshacounty.org.
The American Red Cross has established a temporary shelter for area residents at Christ Lutheran Church, 24929 75th St., Salem. Residents who are in need of temporary shelter can contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-236-8680.
County Highway Commissioner Gary Sipsma said sandbags are available at the Wilmot Gravel Pit, 32515 116th St. Department of Public Works Employees and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Inmates assigned to the Work Crew are filling as many sandbags as possible. People can call 262-857-1870 to check on the availability of sandbags. People may fill their own bags at the Wilmot Pit if crews are not able to keep up with demand.
Several road closures have been announced as the result of flooding. County Highway H, from County Highway S to County Highway L, is closed due to water on the road. County Highway EW, from County Highway JB to County Highway NN, is closed due to a culvert failure.
Traffic control is being staged at State Highway 50 near the Fox River, in the Town of Wheatland. Officials expect to close Highway 50 if the Fox River does rise to expected levels. State Highway 75, near the Bong Recreational Area, has been re-opened. The threat of the Vern Wolfe Lake Damn failing has been reduced due to water levels being lowered in the lake over the past couple of days. “Kenosha County Public Works is doing everything we can to keep the motoring public safe and informed during this rainy period,” Sipsma said.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth would like to urge motorists to avoid flooded areas. If they do choose to drive through flooded areas they should proceed with caution. Cars can lose traction and steering ability when driving through deep water. Additionally, cars may stall in deep water if the engine compartment or air intake gets too much water in it. This can cause permanent damage to cars engine and leave motorists stranded. If someone gets stuck in deep water in their vehicle they should call for help.
“We do not want anyone getting washed into a stream or river due to swift currents,” Sheriff Beth said.
“Petrifying Springs Park in the Town of Somers, along with the Carlisle Family Dog Park, located at Petrifying Springs, will be closed at least through Monday,” said Jonathan Rudie, Kenosha County Parks General Manger. The Pike Creek has overflowed its banks and flooded the park. Also, the Artesian drinking well in Area 1 will be closed until the water can be tested for safety.
Fox River Park (Town of Salem) remains open, but portions of the Disc Golf Courses are closed due to flooding, Rudie said.