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As Baraboo River climbs Reedsburg area prepares for second round of flooding

September 5, 2018
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Andrea Carlson, of Baraboo, loads sandbags into a truck to take to her mothers house in Reedsburg.

Adam Imhoff spent all of Labor Day weekend moving items back into his apartment on Lake Redstone in La Valle. As the Baraboo River began to crest over the holiday weekend, he believed the whole ordeal of the 2018 flood was over.

Then an additional 7 to 8 inches of rain fell in La Valle and the water levels rose once more. Once again, he moved everything out of his house.

“I woke up to the lake already up to my deck,” Imhoff said Sept. 4.

Imhoff said he is staying with his parents on the west side of the lake on a more elevated area, away from the rising waters.

“It’s become my new Tuesday tradition, unfortunately,” Imhoff joked about having to move out twice in one week.

Both east and west bound lanes of Wisconsin Highway 33 between La Valle and Reedsburg are closed because of water over the roadway. Highway 58 is also closed between La Valle and County G and La Valle and Mauston are closed due to flooding.

Baraboo River levels at La Valle rose to 17 feet Sept. 4 while Reedsburg remains at around 14 feet. Rock Springs has decreased to 19 feet Sept. 4, but the National Weather Service predicts the levels to rise to 28.3 feet, 0.4 off its record from 2008, Thursday, Sept. 6.

In Reedsburg, city staff was seen removing debris and trash along the curbside of the west side of the city, which was heavily affected from last weeks flooding. Sandbagging operations began again at the high school and used ones from the previous weeks flood were available for people to pick up at Nishan Park.

Like Imhoff, Andrea Carlson of Baraboo helped her mother Reedsburg resident Cathy Pickel clean out her mother’s house located on the west side of Reedsburg. She said her mom had six-feet of water in her basement and had almost everything cleaned up. Then, when she heard of the water levels rising an possibility of more flooding, she drove to Nishan Park to get 75 used sandbags to put around her mother’s house.

“We pretty much had everything almost cleaned up then we got word of another flood,” she said.

With Imhoff moved out he turned to helping other people. He was at Nishan Park in Reedsburg to pick up sandbags to help his sisters friends sandbag at their house. His sister lives on the Baraboo River up from the dam in La Valle, he said.

“These guys are now going to be affected now by the river,” Imhoff said. “We’re not affected so much but that’s why we are here to help other people now that I’ve moved out.”

Out of all the stress and emotions Imhoff, who moved to the area last year, said he was surprised by how much the community has come together to help people in times of need.

“As challenging and emotional as this week has been, its amazing just how many incredible people that have rallied together and showed support,” Imhoff said. “Strangers becoming friends, it’s just an amazing community to be a part of.”

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