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Janesville preps as Rock River expected to climb to 12 feet

By Mary Jo Ola,
Published On: Apr 18 2013 07:51:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2013 08:03:00 PM CDT

The Rock River in Janesville


Janesville city officials are monitoring the Rock River closely, as they prepare to see it rise over 12 feet by next week, bringing back memories of the 2008 floods.

At this point Janesville has 12,000 sandbags in stock. However, they are looking to get another 10,000 from Rock County and 20,000-30,000 to keep in reserve.

Mike Benage is an artist at the Tried and True Tattoo parlor next to the river on Main Street in downtown Janesville. He said more rain is expected, but the business was already feeling the pain of the river in their basement.

Referring to the several inches of water in the parlor basement Benage said: "If it gets too bad I guess we're going to have to close it."

The gauge in Afton just south of Janesville measured the Rock River at 11.7 feet. It's projected to hit 12.8 feet in the next week.

Jay Winzenz, assistant city manager of Janesville, said this season the goal is to learn from the nightmare of 2008, when Main Street flooded to the point that fish were forced out of the river.

"We've been here before we know what to expect this time around,” Winzenz said. “Because of that we're better able to plan."

Since 2008, Janesville has added rock to the river banks, more open space near problem areas, and reconstructed parts of the dam.

The city has sand bags available to the public, but is asking residents to limit themselves to 200.

Residents can pick up sand bags at the City Services Center, 2200 Highway 51 North.

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