Monday, June 23, 2008

Five Feet High And Rising

I’ll have to admit that the recent flooding in Fond du Lac County threw me a little bit off my game. Going back into the station on a Thursday afternoon wasn’t surprising after all we did have a forecast that called for the possibility of strong storms. However I wasn’t expecting as much rain as we got in such a short amount of time.

During the next 20 hours the station became my home. Around midnight I called the Fond du Lac police station to see if my street was accessible. Nope, the Fond du Lac River saw to that. So I crashed on a station couch for about a half hour so I wouldn’t be groggy for what I needed to do. A walk to the Kwik Trip on the corner took care of breakfast, but I didn’t want to repeat the same ritual for lunch.

We passed along as much information about the flooding as we could as fast as we could. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the cooperation of emergency management officials, fire, police, and volunteers. Thanks for that. The neighbor-to-neighbor calls we got reporting flooding experiences was outstanding. It also gave people some comfort knowing they weren’t the only ones going through it.

Shortly after noon Friday when the information was slowing I decided to try going home. I used 9th Street, which at the time was the only east-to-west route that was open in Fond du Lac. From there I made it up Hickory and went around a barrier on Western Avenue that was only open to local traffic. Since I live on Western I figured that applied to me. Looking up the street I could see water that still came a ways up the street and about four or five vehicles that had stalled out trying to get through it and across the Fond du Lac River Bridge.

I parked on the street because the back parking lot and backyard were filled up with floodwater. The city had issued an advisory urging people not to use excess water so I decided to do without a shower, but later discovered I didn’t have hot water anyway. That made doing dishes interesting, not to mention a cold shave.

Even though flooding was less than a day in people were starting to fill the curbs with flood-damaged items. I didn’t get around to my basement storage unit for a couple days, but it’s interesting to see how water can seep into things you figure are air or water tight. Nothing major was lost, compared to what some experienced.

By the end of the week the water had receded and I was able to park in my garage, but it was a couple more days before the muck and dead worms that temporarily took up refuge there got washed out. To be honest I was glad to see rain this past Sunday. It washed away some of the remaining residue left in the wake of the flood, but didn’t come down in threatening amounts.

It would have been easy to make some kind of nervous joke about the flooding, but too many people were being affected and personal items of sentimental value were lost. I may never take a thunderstorm for granted again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Reporter needs to do some investigative journalism (for a change.) There were rumors and editorals published claiming various problems from a break down of management at WWTP to pumps being broken. Also, someone should look at the capacity of the treatment plant...with all the new development in the south part of the city, can the recently-improved WWTP handle the capacity???