With Nemadji Rising, Superior and Douglas County Could Face More Damage

By KBJR News 1

July 2, 2012 Updated Jul 2, 2012 at 12:52 PM CST

SUPERIOR, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - Superior and Douglas County have also declared a state of emergency.

Superiorites are dealing with the consequences of the flooding, as well as bracing for what could still come. Unstable conditions mean the flood damage could be far from over.

The East entrance of the high school has become a wading pond for people and vehicles. Damage spans outside the city too.

"Highway 13 is washed out and closed, 105 is overtopped," said Keith Kesler, the Director of Emergency Operations in Douglas County.

"Take a deep breath. Just charge forward. Do what you can. Help people when you can," said Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen.

Hagen says he's never seen the city flooded quite like this.

"This morning it was like looking at the television watching a major disaster from television someplace else," said Hagen.

The disaster is in his own backyard, literally.

"My home is a little affected," said Hagen, noting many houses have flooded basements.

As far as other damage goes, an entrance to Barker's Island is washed away. Paddlers are going places they never could before. Roadways and sewer infrastructure are under stress and the pressure could be on the rise.

"The rain may have stopped for the time being but the water is going to continue to rise for hours to come......One of things that we're preparing to deal with is the Nemadji River over topping US highway 2 and 53," said Kesler.

All hands are on deck. While county and city workers are trying to prevent further damage, others are assessing and recording what's happened because there's also the issue of paying for repairs and clean-up.

"The next step will be looking for state emergency aid, but I understand the emergency fund is broke," said Hagen.

A federal disaster declaration and trying to get FEMA funds could be more likely, but it's not quite all bad news.

"I'm hoping and I'm believing that the community will bolster each other, a neighbor to neighbor, block to block. That's the heart warming part of it," said Hagen.

Kesler believes water levels in Superior and Douglas County won't crest until at least 12 hours after the rain stops, particularly because a lot of water is still flowing into the Nemadji River.

The City of Superior and Douglas County are currently in a declared State of Emergency with regard to the recent rainfall and heavy flooding.

Both units of government are asking that residents report any flooding damage they have suffered to the City’s Environmental Services Division at (715) 394-0392 via the City’s website:
www.ci.superior.wi.us/flooding

or email:

Esdpw-info@ci.superior.wi.us
stormwater@ci.superior.wi.us

Please report the following items:
• Name
• Location/address
• Phone number where you can be reached
• Assessment of damage (i.e. depth of basement flooding, home uninhabitable, etc…)

This information is necessary to complete disaster assessment forms required by the State.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike
jpike@northlandsnewscenter.com

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