Wonewoc comes together after flood

August 29, 2018

The Village of Wonewoc continues to battle floodwaters after several inches of rainfall Aug. 27 and 28.

Much of the flooding is concentrated on West Street and Center Street.

Although the flooding has been a trying time for many, Wonewoc Fire Chief Ben Field expressed gratitude for the help emergency personnel received during the flooding.

“The incident command of the Wonewoc Fire Department and Police Department and Village would like to thank all volunteers. The helping hand that we got was greatly appreciated… (for) people come out of their houses in the middle of a crisis and make sandbags, it’s a great thing to see.”

Field specifically thanked Miah Jones, Brandi Pollard Jones, Ellen of the Market Cafe, the Neighbors Sandwich Bar & Deli, the Salvation Army and “anybody that volunteered… it’s greatly appreciated.”

Miah Jones and Brandi Pollard Jones of Beyond Boundaries Canoe, Kayak and Bike Rentals used their army truck to help evacuated people in flooded areas. Jones also helped by using a canoe.

Juneau County Democrats Chair Stephen Weiser had a fundraising event for Assembly District 50 Candidate Art Shrader planned for Aug. 28, but after the hazardous weather forced the event to cancel, prepared food was donated to the Wonewoc Fire Department.

“We just took some of the food over,” Weiser said.

Shrader helped with sandbagging.

“When there is an emergency we all get together and do whatever it takes to help one another,” Shrader said in a statement.

For some in Wonewoc, flooding is a possibility they feel they must always be prepared for.

“Monday night we started preparing,” said Colleen Beier whose house is on West Street. “We’ve lived here long enough with the flooding, that you just know. So we were up all night Monday night moving things.”

Her family moved things from the basement to the first level of the home, and as water kept coming, up to second level.

Beier’s basement wall collapsed during the flood.

“All the water came in,” Beier said. “Some houses along here have flood insurance, some don’t… I don’t know that everybody has that luxury.”

Beier’s husband, Waters and Wastewater Supervisor and Wonewoc Fire Department Volunteer Shane Huebel said the village’s wastewater treatment plant has flooded.

“We’ve got to drain everything out, and we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to divert (everything) for right now until we have the pumps back up and running,” Huebel said.

Like Elroy and other parts of Juneau County, Wonewoc experienced flooding in 2008, but many feel the damage this time is more severe.

“It’s worse than 2008,” Weiser said.

For now, the emergency personnel are focused on addressing the issue of the wastewater treatment plant, but will need the water levels to recede before they can begin.

“We can’t really do anything until the water goes down enough to get the sewer plant running again,” Field said.

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