December 19, 2014

No breaks for Boscobel

Highway 61 mudslide PHOTO: WI Emergency Mgmt.

Highway 61 mudslide PHOTO: WI Emergency Mgmt.

Southwest Wisconsin remains in the weather bull’s-eye – especially Boscobel. Residents in the community, along the Kickapoo River in Grant County, had a brief respite from the heavy rains that have driven the river over its banks and into their homes.

“There’s a giant batch of storms coming toward them again, and the rest of us, too,” said Tod Pritchard from Wisconsin Emergency Management. “It just is not letting up. That’s obviously the exact opposite of what people need right now. We need some drying conditions, and we’re just not going to get it until Wednesday.”

Also on Monday, a landslide, approximately 25 feet high and 200 yards long, took out a section of state Highway 61 in Crawford County. “No one was hurt, but this is a massive landslide, and it’s going to take several days for road crews to get it clear,” Pritchard said. In addition, Wisconsin Highway 35 was closed in both directions from Lynxville to Prairie du Chien due to mud slides and debris. State Highway 171 is closed in both directions from Highway 27 to 131 due to water on the roadway.

Grant County officials are estimating damage to public infrastructure at more than $2.3 million dollars so far. A State of Emergency continues for Boscobel and Grant County.

Grant County is working with the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to provide additional cleanup kits to affected residents. Cleanup kits can be obtained for free at Boscobel City Hall, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the week. Kits include mops, bleach, and cleaning tools to sterilize basements and clean up flood damaged homes. The City of Boscobel is providing 1,500 sand bags to residents. The fire department is pumping water out of a remaining handful of homes with water from this weekend.

Grant County asked again Monday for volunteers to assist area residents with cleanup. Volunteers were asked to bring gloves and boots and report to the Boscobel City Hall for assignments.