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Melting and runoff water has emergency officials urging flood prevention measures

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FEMA public domain photo
Steve Hagman in Marathon County Emergency Operations Center
FEMA public domain photo

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- It’s time to prepare for possible flooding and water runoff issues as the snow melts.

Marathon County Emergency Management Director Steve Hagman says getting ready now can prevent human danger and property damage that is likely with the large amount of melting snow.

Hagman says they work with Wisconsin Valley Improvement Corporation, which monitors the Wisconsin River and the reservoirs which are pretty full already.  “They have some areas that are at 20%, rise in water that could possible cover some roads and maybe put some water in people’s basements. Then there’s some 15% areas, so they’re waiting for the next prediction to come out to see where they’re at.”

Hagman says several areas of the county have flooded before and are likely to flood again this spring.  ”“Oak Island, the park area. That’s just the park but people can drive by there and see the water rise quite a bit, and the City of Mosinee at Chuck’s Landing and River Park. They have high water levels. The Village of Marathon at the Rib River Park and the homes on River Road, they receive water in their basements and they should be prepared for that again.”

Other areas prone to flooding in Marathon County are along Business 51 in Rothschild by Wausau Tile, the Evergreen area of Kronenwetter, Sherman Road area in the Town of Stettin, and in Stratford by the mobile home park.

Hagman says one of the most dangerous situations is water over the road, because you can’t see if the road is washed out.  “If they see the road has been covered in water, they shouldn’t just make the assumption that there’s something underneath. They should be extremely careful, and if they don’t know how deep that water is and it’s above six inches, we recommend they just turn around and go to a different location.”

For people with basements that might flood, Hagman advises getting critical things off the floor with risers or concrete blocks, and take an extra step if you’re on a municipal sewer system.  “If you’re on a sewer system, a city sewer system, they recommend that you put a backup plug on there so the water can flow out but can’t come back through in case the public sewer system starts to back up.”

If your basement floods, Hagman says you’ll will have to dry it out and probably rip out any wet drywall material to prevent mold growth. He recommends using one of several professional services that are equipped to safely handle mold and dust for this task.

(Listen to our interview with Steve Hagman on our website, here.)

 

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