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Being safe: Preparing for a flood
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Sandbags have been filled, storm drains thawed and emergency plans written and revised.

Now all city and county officials can do is wait and watch.

Fifteen years after rain and snow melt flooded the Spring Brook corridor through Antigo, officials said they are better prepared to deal with any emergency caused by the ongoing melt and rain.

“Having that knowledge helps us know where it could occur,” Charley Brinkmeier, who handles engineering responsibilities for the city, explained.

That knowledge has been placed into a data base, Jim Balzer, the county's emergency management director, said, and people and businesses in the path of potential floodwater would be notified via the emergency alert system if problems are coming.

There is also a system of shelters for those who could be forced to evacuate, including at Antigo High School, which was pressed into service when waters entered basements and flooded streets in 2004.

According to Brinkmeier, the city and county has a series of indicators stretching from Skinner Dam northeast of Antigo through the city and to the south. They visually check those indicators as needed, several times daily if necessary, to determine the speed of the snow melt and amount of runoff.

“There's no scientific way to do this,” Brinkmeier said. “It's years of experience.”

For instance, Brinkmeier learned from his predecessors, including Terry Hubatch, that if flooding occurs along East Eighth Avenue, downtown will be hit about six hours later.

Other preparations include filling and stockpiling sandbags. City crews were at that task again this morning, using a system they invented themselves. They modified the hopper on a dump truck usually used to spread salt and sand to quickly and efficiently perform a task that previously involved shovels, large piles and lots of manpower.

“We're going to fill 500 today,” Kirk Packard, the city's street commissioner, said this morning. “We've got another 500 in the warehouse ready to go.”

Balzer is staying in regular contact through the dispatch center with on-the-road deputies and highway crews, who monitor conditions across the county. He's keeping a close eye on the Wolf River and Highway M bridge, the site of problems in the past, especially in light of the massive Upper Peninsula snow pack that will eventually send water this way.

“We're doing pretty much everything we can” Balzer said.

With conditions expected to moderate toward spring “sapping weather” with warm days and cooler nights, the dangers of flooding should ease, Brinkmeier said.

Both men admitted that there isn't much that can be done against the spring forces of Mother Nature.

“If something were to happen, we can't stop it,” Brinkmeier said. “It's all comes down to monitoring and reacting.”

The snow and rain has caused numerous building collapses across the northwoods, including the White Lake Fire Department roof and a commercial facility at Frisch Greenhouses.

Other parts of the state are also facing problems.

According to the Associated Press, ice-jam flooding along the Fond du Lac River in eastern Wisconsin has prompted the evacuation of some residents as water swamps local roads and the basements of homes.

Firefighters from the city of Fond du Lac are going door to door to check on people along the river. At least 10 have been evacuated. A utility company is shutting off gas and electricity to flooded homes. The American Red Cross is setting up a shelter to help those forced from their homes.

Rapid snow melt in southern Wisconsin is continuing to cause flooding problems on roads and highways with closures in Dane, Lafayette, Sauk and Iowa counties. The flooded Pecatonica River has closed the Main Street bridge in Darlington.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning or flood watch for about two-thirds of the state.
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SANDBAGSCity street crews step this morning filled sandbags this morning, part of an ongoing effort to be ready in case the quick snow thaw and rains cause flooding. The crews have rigged a bag-filling system using the hopper on a dump truck that usually spreads sand and salt on city streets. They removed the spreading mechanism and rigged it so that it was perfect for filling the bags instead. They expect to fill 500 bags today, with another 500 already in storage.

Being safe: Preparing for a flood
space
Sandbags have been filled, storm drains thawed and emergency plans written and revised.

Now all city and county officials can do is wait and watch.

Fifteen years after rain and snow melt flooded the Spring Brook corridor through Antigo, officials said they are better prepared to deal with any emergency caused by the ongoing melt and rain.

“Having that knowledge helps us know where it could occur,” Charley Brinkmeier, who handles engineering responsibilities for the city, explained.

That knowledge has been placed into a data base, Jim Balzer, the county's emergency management director, said, and people and businesses in the path of potential floodwater would be notified via the emergency alert system if problems are coming.

There is also a system of shelters for those who could be forced to evacuate, including at Antigo High School, which was pressed into service when waters entered basements and flooded streets in 2004.

According to Brinkmeier, the city and county has a series of indicators stretching from Skinner Dam northeast of Antigo through the city and to the south. They visually check those indicators as needed, several times daily if necessary, to determine the speed of the snow melt and amount of runoff.

“There's no scientific way to do this,” Brinkmeier said. “It's years of experience.”

For instance, Brinkmeier learned from his predecessors, including Terry Hubatch, that if flooding occurs along East Eighth Avenue, downtown will be hit about six hours later.

Other preparations include filling and stockpiling sandbags. City crews were at that task again this morning, using a system they invented themselves. They modified the hopper on a dump truck usually used to spread salt and sand to quickly and efficiently perform a task that previously involved shovels, large piles and lots of manpower.

“We're going to fill 500 today,” Kirk Packard, the city's street commissioner, said this morning. “We've got another 500 in the warehouse ready to go.”

Balzer is staying in regular contact through the dispatch center with on-the-road deputies and highway crews, who monitor conditions across the county. He's keeping a close eye on the Wolf River and Highway M bridge, the site of problems in the past, especially in light of the massive Upper Peninsula snow pack that will eventually send water this way.

“We're doing pretty much everything we can” Balzer said.

With conditions expected to moderate toward spring “sapping weather” with warm days and cooler nights, the dangers of flooding should ease, Brinkmeier said.

Both men admitted that there isn't much that can be done against the spring forces of Mother Nature.

“If something were to happen, we can't stop it,” Brinkmeier said. “It's all comes down to monitoring and reacting.”

The snow and rain has caused numerous building collapses across the northwoods, including the White Lake Fire Department roof and a commercial facility at Frisch Greenhouses.

Other parts of the state are also facing problems.

According to the Associated Press, ice-jam flooding along the Fond du Lac River in eastern Wisconsin has prompted the evacuation of some residents as water swamps local roads and the basements of homes.

Firefighters from the city of Fond du Lac are going door to door to check on people along the river. At least 10 have been evacuated. A utility company is shutting off gas and electricity to flooded homes. The American Red Cross is setting up a shelter to help those forced from their homes.

Rapid snow melt in southern Wisconsin is continuing to cause flooding problems on roads and highways with closures in Dane, Lafayette, Sauk and Iowa counties. The flooded Pecatonica River has closed the Main Street bridge in Darlington.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning or flood watch for about two-thirds of the state.
space

SANDBAGSCity street crews step this morning filled sandbags this morning, part of an ongoing effort to be ready in case the quick snow thaw and rains cause flooding. The crews have rigged a bag-filling system using the hopper on a dump truck that usually spreads sand and salt on city streets. They removed the spreading mechanism and rigged it so that it was perfect for filling the bags instead. They expect to fill 500 bags today, with another 500 already in storage.
2019
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

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JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

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