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Residents on Rock River prep for flooding

Published On: Apr 18 2013 04:30:53 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 17 2013 10:53:20 PM CDT

In Newville along the Rock River, the water level was above flooding stage at 11.5 feet Wednesday.


In Rock County, the health department is warning people to watch their wells because floodwater could contaminate them. Homeowners are also trying to protect other parts of their homes from the rising water.

In Newville, water surrounded some homes and is creeping up on others. The threat has some people preparing for what they worry could be a repeat of 2008.

Volunteers were already at the old Red Apple Market Wednesday, filling sandbags to help their neighbors living along the rising Rock River near Lake Koshkonong.

“I think we’re going to be close to what were in ’08,” said homeowner Ed Mackay, who used thousands of bags five years ago to protect his house from a flood.

“I had 10 pumps running 24/7 around my house,” he said. “There’s a lot of stress.”

There’s no telling how many he’ll use now against the river running above flood stage at 11.5 feet.

Mackay spent 55-years on the water, but said this year’s fight with Mother Nature will be his last. For Weed Canfield, it’s just the beginning.

“Usually the water comes up, but not to damaging levels,” said Canfield, who bought his first summer lake home four years ago. And despite the threat, has no plans to leave.

In the same area, in 2008, the water rose to a record-setting 15.1 feet. Residents think the water this year could rise another foot by week’s end. The water would then be about 12.5 feet, well under the record.

Still, Canfield is preparing for the worst.

“I’ve done some sandbagging and I’m going to get some pumps going to try and keep the water out from behind the sandbags and prolong the possible inevitable for as long as possible,” he said.

Sandbags will continue to be available in Newville. Later this week about 100 Edgerton High School students along with area inmates will help fill the bags that are free to locals affected by flooding.

In 2008, the city handed out a half a million sandbags.

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