Several inches of rain cause flooding in parts of Oshkosh

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:54 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The heavy rain from Wednesday night and Thursday morning is still being felt, as some people continue to pump water from their basements and backyards.

The South Park neighborhood was hit especially hard.

At houses like Kim Schroeder’s, off 10th Avenue, the sound of running water from pumps has been pretty constant since daybreak.

“We woke up around 1 o’clock and we had a river running down our alleyway into our backyard, and this happened in October last year and now it happened again,” she said.

It’s the same situation for nearly every house on the block.

Kyle Stadel of Oshkosh added, “I’d say the water was like, I don’t know, this high, almost up against the house and then knee-high basically this entire street.”

In response, the city says it’s made a number of improvements over the past decade which have made the situation better. This includes the expansion of storage lagoons at South Park.

Oshkosh Director of Public Works James Rabe says several inches of rain in a short period of time will make it hard for any drainage system to keep up.

“I would love to be able to come out and do all of these projects, but I don’t have a hundred to two hundred million dollars that I can spend to do all of these projects, and we have to be cautious with what the projects do to our storm water utility rates,” said Rabe.

While much of the water has gone down, Schroeder says she’s left with a lot of mud in her yard.

On the side of her garage you can see the debris from the water line. It’s at least two to three feet high.

Schroeder said, “Our backyard is saturated. Our garden is gone. Everybody’s junk floats this way, so when it all dries out we will have to clean up everybody’s junk in our backyard.”

The city says more projects to reduce flooding in the area are likely in the years to come, but there’s no definite timeline.

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