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It wasn’t the “perfect storm,” but a combination of a one-hour cloudburst, failed pumps and a sewer system that is being fixed led to a wet Monday in Black Creek.
Flooding hit the village in several locations along Main Street and WIS 54, where the highway was several feet deep in water under the railroad overpass west of downtown.
“Basically, the rain came so fast and so hard we had major street flooding,” said police chief Lowell James. “It was complicated by WIS 47 being closed. As the street flooding progressed through the village, the only alternative was basically to shut the village down and detour completely around it.”
About three inches of rain fell in an hour, according to one weather observer.
The water backed up underneath the railroad overpass on WIS 54 because pumps were unable to move the water into the Shioc River, already at high levels because of recent rain.
From there, the backed-up sewers started to overflow down the streets, popping off manhole covers with small geysers of water flowing into the streets.
“We had to shut down traffic through the area because cars and trucks going through were creating a wake slapping up against the houses,” James said.
The lake at the intersection of Main and Birch Streets blocked the parking lot of Fox Communities Credit Union and lapped against the walls of Black Creek Chiropractic, flooding the basements of several homes.
“Basically, our problem was just keeping people out of the area,” James said. “The problem was with the manholes popping up, there’s an open hole there that people don’t realize is there. We had to keep kids out of the water for their own safety.”
Streets in the village were dried out by the afternoon, but fire pumpers were clearing water out of flooded backyards. WIS 54 remained closed until 8 p.m.
“There was a debris field under the railroad bridge 4-6 inches deep and about 20-30 feet long,” James said. They needed a tractor to clear the gravel and mud out of there.”
Meanwhile, fire departments from Shiocton, Seymour, Osborn and pumpers from Scott Marcks Trucking and Excavating provided pumping services, forcing water out of flooded yards and into the now-clear storm sewers. Both village and county emergency government were available. Sandbags were filled if needed in case the rain returned.
Red Cross cleanup kits for houses affected by Monday’s flooding in Black Creek are available at the Village Clerk’s office on Maple Street, said James. The disaster kits include instructions and equipment to sanitize areas and prevent mold.
“We don’t want to have a mold problem in the village,” James said.