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Burlington preparing for winter flooding, still recovering from devastating summer floods

Posted at 11:07 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 00:07:19-05

A flood watch is in effect for Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth and Waukesha Counties until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Many families who live in Burlington (Racine County) are still recovering from the devastating, record-breaking floods last summer. The last thing they want to hear about now is the chance for winter flooding.

The steady rain outside his window brings back painful memories for Richard Cassidy.

"When you don't have flood insurance, it hurts pretty bad," he said.

Cassidy's home was overtaken by the Fox River back in July. He pretty much lost everything 

"We didn't see it coming, and the water just wouldn't stop," he said.

Cassidy's house was one of three in Burlington that saw the worst damage. The other two were condemned. But he was committed to fixing his.

"My wife and I were married in this yard," he said. "There's no place like home."

In the process of rehabbing the entire house, he went into debt and tore his rotator cuff. 

"I had to put in a new furnace, hot water tank, and air conditioner," Cassidy said. "Not to mention new wiring through the house, sub-flooring, floors, walls. Everything."

He prays flooding is never that bad again.

"What else can I do?" he said. "You cannot stop nature. If it happens this time, I'm just going to throw in the towel. Honestly, I went through enough. I just hurt too much."

But through it all, he keeps his sense of humor.

"If it does flood in February, I will at least get to see if the expensive new sump pumps I had to buy actually work," he said. "I sure hope so."

Any potential flooding over the next 24 to 30 hours will not be the same magnitude as last summer. Even so, homeowners like Cassidy, are keeping a close eye on it.

The City of Burlington is offering updates on its Facebook page, asking residents to keep sewers and storm drains clear so any standing water can drain.