Burlington couple welcomes new baby amidst severe flooding

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jul 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 11:23:42-04

BURLINGTON -- Many families in Burlington are still cleaning out flood water from their homes, including one couple who at the same time are celebrating the birth of their first child.

"You can see we tried to save the basement," said Mitchell Fluger, as he walks in his now dry backyard. 

Sandbags are still piled high, evidence of their desperate attempt to stop flood waters from the Fox River from entering his basement.

"It was raising so fast we couldn't get enough sandbags," he said. "There weren't enough supplies, it was too late to save."

Severe storms moved through the area July 11-12, causing the Fox River to rise above major flood stage. The Fox River at Burlington crested at a record 16.1 feet Thursday morning.

And it all happened the day before Fluger's girlfriend was scheduled to go into labor.

"It was a hectic event," he said. "I couldn't thank all my friends enough, I had 20 friends and family members all volunteering to help while I sat in the hospital."

His girlfriend Kaitlynn McKeen and his new baby Macie Marie are both doing well, but still in the hospital. Once they are released, they won't be able to come home as Fluger says he is still assessing the damage and trying to clean up. 

"We have two dehumidifiers going, fans, hoping it will dry out because we had them cut the power because our breaker box was under water," said Fluger. 

They are staying with his parents in the meantime, and says they've received donations even from strangers of supplies and baby clothes. 

But in the midst of all this chaos, Fluger says the birth of his daughter has brought so much joy.

"The baby kind of brought a relief to it I should say," said Fluger. "Everyone's smiling now."