UPDATE-5: Power Outages, Flash Flooding in Door County - WBAY

UPDATE-5: Power Outages, Flash Flooding in Door County

Door County - Heavy rain caused widespread flooding and power outages in Door County. Rainfall, estimated between 4 and 6 inches, caused some roads to become impassable due to localized flooding. 

Highway 42 between Ephraim and Fish Creek reopened late Friday afternoon. It was closed near Peninsula State Park golf course after rain washed out part of a ditch adjacent to the highway.

For residents, the flooding was an unwelcome Friday morning wake-up call. 

"My mom called me about 1:45. She said her basement was flooding," said Bill Koessl of Gills Rock. "By the time I got here, there was five feet of water in her basement."

He pumped out 25,000 gallons of water with his own truck, but the damage was already done.

"Awful. There was stuff floating, family treasures floating in the basement," said Koessl.

The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department came to help. It pumped out 300 to 400 gallons per minute.

"We're trying to remove as much water as we can," said Fire Chief  Chris Hecht. "We typically go in and tell the homeowner we'll do everything we can to lower the water for you."

Bailey's Harbor dealt with water halfway up corn stalks and pooling on roadways.

"Just because of the elevation and topography in Sister Bay and Fish Creek, it has runoff quicker than it has in Bailey's Harbor," said Dan Williams, Door County Emergency Management.

"I've talked to people who've been here a long time, longer than me. They've said they've never seen anything like this."

The American Red Cross-Northeast Wisconsin Chapter says it has teams in Door County to help people impacted by the flooding and power outages. A reception center is open at the fire station at 2258 Mill Road in Sister Bay. It has food, water and a place to charge electronics.  

If you know someone who needs power for medical equipment, call (920) 746-2396.

Firefighters urge you to avoid moving water -- do not walk or drive through it.  Also, stay away from damaged areas unless you are instructed by emergency officials.

Here are some more tips from Door County Emergency Management:

  • Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • If you need to evacuate, secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • If you need to evacuate, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

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