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Waubeka sees record flooding, threat not over

Posted at 5:45 AM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 07:06:54-04

Across southeastern Wisconsin, people are picking up the pieces after flood waters flowed through their towns.

Some still aren’t in the clear just yet, out in Ozaukee County, where they saw record flooding in the Village of Waubeka, a part of the Town of Fredonia.

“Oh no, is it going to come into the house?” Sandy Lederer said as she remembered what went through her mind Saturday afternoon.

It was a site she, nor Judy Albert, had ever seen before in their home of Waubeka.

“It was like a lake with icebergs in it,” Albert said.

Water crested from the Milwaukee River into the village, reaching homes feet away from its banks.

“It was scary because you didn’t know how much of it was going to come up here,” Lederer said.

Only twice in their more than 50 years living in Waubeka, had they even witnessed water reach the road, but a fast warm-up mixed with ice jams, snow melt and rainfall, caused the river to flood at record levels.

Ozaukee County Emergency Management Director Scott Ziegler said it displaced 30 to 40 people in the small village temporarily.

“So far we’ve only had a couple of people in the county that we’ve had to assist across, that they don’t have access to dry land,” Ziegler said.

Ziegler said while the levels are lowering, the threat remains because much of the river is still frozen over.

He hopes a warming trend this week will come in slowly.

“That will help to kind of ease the jams from developing or getting worse,” Ziegler said.

In the meantime, residents are cleaning up and hoping for the best.

“I feel like it should stay down there. I don’t want to see it back up here,” Lederer said.

The Red Cross set up a center at Fire Hall in Waubeka to help those impacted by the flooding with food and cleaning kits. They’ll be open through at least Monday morning.