FOX47 NEWS - Lakeside Flooding

Jeff Angileri
Mar 22, 2009, 6:47 PM

People on the Dane County -- Columbia County border are anxiously watching the weather forecast. Several lakes in the towns of Roxbury and Westpoint are overflowing, and residents are worried more rainfall could mean more flooding.

It's gone up four feet, and that's just in the last year, said lakeside resident Bill Sorenson.

As far as lakes go, Crystal Lake is outgrowing its banks.

We live by pumps and berms, said Sorenson. That's the only thing keeping us safe.

Back to back years of heavy rain, snow, and now melting ice are wreaking havoc on the lake community.

Lots of damage, said Dale Schoepp, owner of Schoepp's Cottonwood Resort. We've got road damage, building structures, loss of property, farm land is ruined.

Nearby Fish Lake and Mud Lake are swollen, too. A foot of water already inundated some homes, and makeshift gravel shores are crumbling.

We berm, we sandbag, and we just run pumps, 24 hours day, all night long, seven days a week, said Schoepp. It just doesn't stop.

The water table is so high, roads are literally washing away.

It's just like standing on a water bed. It's mushing underneath. It's terrible spongy. It's all broken up, Sorenson said.

In some places, a traffic sign is the only evidence a road even exists.

Nearby farm land isn't faring any better.

I'm losing 30 - 35 acres of land, not only here but behind the barn, because of the high water on Fish Lake, said farmer Neal Schoepp.

Residents say the flooding is an emotional, physical, and financial drain.

We're living in fear day to day, whether we're going to have a place to live or not, said Dale Schoepp.

Sorenson said, I'm sandbagging, just pure intensive labor, trying to stave off the problem, until we get help.

Residents, and the Town of Roxbury chairperson, say they're working with the DNR to figure out how to alleviate the flooding. Last year, they were able to pump out excess water into nearby rivers.

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