FOX47 NEWS - Flooding...Again.

Jeff Angileri
May 14, 2009, 10:51 PM

In the Crystal Lake area, overnight storms made a bad situation even worse. Homes are flooded, streets are impassable, and water is threatening to cut off the only road to dozens of homes.

Residents there are exhausted and frustrated. With water continuing to drain from the hillsides, people living along the trio of lakes -- Crystal, Fish, and Mud -- are expecting more flooding.

The lakes in northern Dane County were already too swollen to handle more rain.

They were pretty severe. We were getting some pretty torrential downpours last night, said resident Ed Roland. Lakes have gone up at least a couple of inches.

Three inches, according to Ed Tuttle's rain gauge -- too much water in an area already saturated.

Never in my life did I expect to see this here, said Trula Mack, who's lived on Fish Lake for 47 years. Since March, she's seen the shoreline creep 100 feet closer.

I used to mow lawn out there, Mack said. I lost thousands of plants, trees, shrubs. I had four flower beds.

The residents' only hope lies in the miles of piping snaking through the countryside, pumping out hundreds of gallons per minute.

It was doing a pretty good job of maintaining it, Roland said. I don't think it was going down much.

The pumps aren't keeping up.

We've been closing roads all morning long, said Dave Nelson, Town of Roxbury patrolman.

Water is washing away roadways. Town and county workers have cut off every artery but one, and even that road is a couples inches of rain away from sinking.

We still have the one way out, but water's getting higher all thru there, Tuttle said.

Said Nelson, This is as close to disaster as we're gonna get. How much more do we need?

To add insult to injury, Crystal Lake residents are expecting a new high capacity pump Friday.

It's coming a day late, but will double the amount of water they can pump, from 500 gallons to 1,000 gallons per minute.

The Department of Natural Resources issued the lake district an emergency pumping permit in April. It's valid through July. DNR officials say an extension is likely.

Meantime, the Dane County Sheriff's Department is patrolling the Crystal Lake area. They ask that people stay away from the flooding. Only residents are being allowed in.

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