High Waters Cause Damage in Northland

By KBJR News 1

May 29, 2012 Updated May 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM CST

Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - Superior resident Gordon Jensen and his wife, Aggie, are used to the Nemadji River knocking on their doorstep during periods of high water.

"There's nothing you can do, so you just grin and bear it. The water comes up, and we enjoy it when it's up. It gives us our own private lake, and it goes back down again," said Jensen, pleased.

...a positive attitude to have during an exceptionally wet year. So far, the Northland has experienced 6.6 inches of rain this month, 5.75 inches of which fell within the past 10 days. Morgan Park even experienced flooding near the park's entrance, earlier today.

According to Jensen, however, in the 15 years he's lived at his property, the river's ever–changing water levels have only negatively impacted him once.

"It only went into the garage one time. That was a rare exception. It can't hit the house. Before it hits the house, it'd be going over highway C," said Jensen.

...which is where Keith Kesler, Director of Emergency Management for Douglas County, comes in.

"This weekend, I've spent most of my time working with the highway department, making sure that our county roads are open," said Kesler.

According to Kesler, his main concern is not with the water level. Rather, it's with the debris that can get caught underneath bridges and culverts while making its way downstream.

"Several of the towns along the lake have reported 6 and 8 foot diameter culverts that are washed out and destroyed. We're talking thousands and thousands of dollars for them, and those communities have a very limited budget," said Kesler.

Kesler says his other main concern is with the lingering effects of water damage in a home, high water or not: "If they have carpeting, and things like that, and the basement gets wet, they want to get that dried out as quickly as possible, before mold starts. Mold can be a real ongoing health issue."

...working to prevent disaster, and deal with the wet aftermath.

We have the latest update on emergency road closures due to flooded areas throughout the Northland.

County State Aid Highway 88, 2 miles west of CSAH 116, remains closed, due to a beaver dam collapse.

County Road 652, north of Britt, and County Road 796, east of Embarrass, is also closed, due to water damage.

County Road 453, in Cherry Township, was closed 300 feet south of the Allavus Road, along with County Road 442, from County Road 965, to Town Highway 73.

Repairs will begin once water levels have receded.