UPDATE: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in seven southwestern Wisconsin counties due to flooding.
Walker issued the emergency declaration on Wednesday for Ashland, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Richland, St. Croix, and Vernon counties. The declaration came after Walker toured flood-damaged areas near Boscobel.
Walker says he has also directed the Wisconsin National Guard, and other state agencies, to assist as necessary.
Walker says the state will work with communities to make emergency assistance funds available to eligible homeowners for rehabilitation and connect farmers with crop and livestock damage with assistance.
The governor says the Department of Natural Resources is also available to help residents and local governments concerned about well contamination.
UPDATE: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - Flood warnings are in effect for Crawford, Grant, Vernon, Lafayette, Green and Rock counties. National Weather Service experts say the warnings will remain until further notice.
There's also a flood watch issued for southwest and southcentral Wisconsin through Wednesday, June 26, 2013. 1 to 2 inches of additional rainfall is expected, but some areas are already dealing with 6 to 10 inches since the weekend, and may see 3 to 4 more inches of rain. Emergency Management officials are keeping an eye on hilly terrain in Iowa and Sauk Counties and say road washouts and mudslides may easily occur there. You may recall a flash flood watch means conditions can quickly develop, leading to flash flooding.
The continuing wet weather is also pushing portions of highways 35 and 171 to remain closed in Crawford County. Also, highway 61 is still shut down between 60 and the bridge to Boscobel due to a large mudslide. Todd Pritchard, with Wisconsin Emergency Management tells WIBA News, the debris along the road is 25 feet high and 200 yards long.
Highway 60 into Richland County is closed.
And South Carvers Rock Road in Rock County is shut down due to high water.
Clean up is underway in the city of Boscobel, after another round of rain overnight damaged more homes and displaced more families.
Crews handed out emergency kits from the Red Cross and recruited volunteers to help with relief efforts.
For two days now, firefighters have pumped thousands of gallons of water out of Misty Molzof's basment and backyard.
"Everything is just mud and water," Molzof said.
No house flooded as badly as hers this weeked. The first night the rain came, it reached 8 ft. high inside.
"It was up to the ceiling in the basement, coming all the way up the steps," she said. "But I thought it was do-able. Who cares about the basement, we'll get it fixed. We'll take care of it, everything will be fine."
Unforunately, things only got worse the second night.
"I parked like a half a block away on the street so I could see the back of my house and I could see the crick coming up over the bank, and I saw that it was coming up to the house," Molzof said. "I called my mom and I just said, Mom, it's happening again. It's gonna be gone."
Family and friends must now move all of Molzof's belongings out, as she says good-bye to so many memories. "This is our home," she said. "I'm a single mom with two kids, this is the home we built together."
The six rooms in her house that were spared on Saturday, suffered significant water damage Sunday.
"This isn't something that hit just one or two neighborhoods in Boscobel here. It really is city-wide," said Steve Braun, the director of Grant Co. Emergency Management. He says he's still assessing the damage after round two. In addition to flooding inside structures, entire roads have washed away, sideswalks are gone and mud covers highways.
"It was unbelievable," said Boscobel homeowner Randy Williams. "It just happened so fast."
Williams considers himself lucky. He only had four feet of water in his basement. And thanks to the outpouring of support, he knows he and the rest of the community will be back on their feet in no time.
"The community is really great," Williams said. "A lot of volunteers, a lot of people pitching in to help."