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Rock River Rising: Jefferson residents prepare for possible flooding

Posted at 10:07 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 07:14:47-04

Unseasonal flooding has residents in the City of Jefferson watching river levels closely this weekend.

Officials say the Rock River is expected to crest on Saturday at more than 12 feet. While it won't break any records for the city, they are still asking residents to stay vigilant.

"This morning, it was not even to that tree yet," said Carissa Cornwell, while pointing out the water creeping closer and closer to her home.

Cornwell has about 87 sandbags stacked up in her backyard but water is already getting into her basement.

"I didn’t go to work today cause I was like I need to deal with this, it’s way bigger than I thought it would be and it’s not going down," she said.

While she knows her home is in a floodplain, she says this kind of flooding usually happens in the spring.

"This is super unseasonal," she said. "This is not a common time for flooding to happen here."

The city says the Rock River reached flood stage on Tuesday at 10 feet.

The Crawfish River is also above its banks. Baseball fields in Riverfront Park are covered with water and all boat launches in the city are closed.

"I'm kind of in awe," said Holly Wells who came to see the flooding for herself.

Normally she says there's a nice walking path by the river that's now underwater.

"I was surprised to see the sandbags there, I’ve never seen that before," she said.

The city delivered 1,000 sandbags to homes and businesses on Thursday but says only a few properties are at risk.

Unfortunately, Carissa Cornwell is one of them.

"They might have to come back and give me more sandbags," she said.

In 2008, the river reached more than 15 feet, well above what's expected this weekend. The city administrator says he is only worried about any additional rain and what it could mean for the city.