Emergency Crews Prepared for Another Round of Rain

By Jason Zimmerman, WBAY-TV2  – click HERE for Video of Story

Firefighters in Black Creek were busy since Monday afternoon’s storm assisting in a massive clean-up effort — fighting off almost three inches of rain that hit in a span of just 30 minutes.

Crews went through neighborhoods pumping water out of basements and low-lying areas.

“What we did is, we sent out a city watch. It’s a program of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department, and they called every residence in the village of Black Creek to let them know if their basements are filled with water that they should call the Black Creek Fire Department and we will send a crew out to help them,” Fire Chief Scott Yahle said.

Dozens of donated pumps were dropped off at the fire department for distribution. Sandbags were filled and placed on pallets if they were needed to hold back flood water.

Firefighters responded to about two dozen houses where flooding was an issue. Many of those residents were extremely grateful.

“It just got overwhelmed and went over the top of the sump pump,” Jeremy Kling said.

At the village hall, flood kits were begin handed out to assist in the clean-up.

“Those flood kits the Red Cross hands out have a mop and a broom, some brushes, some sponges, bleach, detergent, so basically the stuff you would need once the water leaves your basement, you could use to clean it up,” Outagamie County Emergency Management Director Christina Peters explained.

Since the village drains took on so much water Monday, firefighters say it could take at least another 24 hours to dry out — and that’s after the rain lets up.

Any residents in Black Creek with flood-damaged items can put them on the curb. The village plans a pick-up on Wednesday and Thursday.

Flooding in Black Creek Closes Highway 54

To view video of WBAY NEWS STORY: Click HERE

Photos from Jeanne Carrier

Streets turned to rivers and basements became swimming pools after a storm rolled through Black Creek, dumping heavy rain on the town.

A street worker tells Action 2 News they recorded 2.8 inches of rain in 20 minutes.

The storm that caused the flooding popped up just before 11:30. StormCenter 2’s VIPIR showed the storm made its way through Outagamie County around noon.

The storm was able to cause so much flooding because it was only moving around ten miles an hour, allowing rains to build up.

Highway 54 west of Black Creek will be closed for several hours because of the water, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department says.

Normally, rain collects west of the village and drains to the north, but not this day. At four o’clock there was still three or four feet of water on the roadway even though most of the standing water around the rest of the town had drained away.

Other parts of the village that were submerged were closer to downtown. Forest Road, Main Street, and Birch Street were all under water.

The water was about three feet deep in the road, coming up to the foundations of some of the homes. One person described the water as having whitecaps.

Photos from Jeanne Carrier

Late Monday afternoon the village police chief gave us an update, saying about two dozen homes have basement flooding. We’re also told a chiropractor’s office was flooded.

“Made a comment that we had a river on our road and that it kept working its way back to the back of the house, and we had a lake. The water kept growing and increasing,” Mason Rehl said.

Power was out in a few spots.

Firefighters went door-to-door to make sure people were safe.  The American Red Cross came out with flood kits. Outagamie County Emergency Management brought pumps and made sure people have the tools they need to start cleaning.

“Emergency Management and the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department brought in a truckload of sandbags that are already pre-filled. We have them on standby in case it gets worse,” Fire Chief Scott Yahle said.

Although there isn’t even a puddle left in town, firefighters and emergency crews are busy preparing for another possible storm Monday night.

We’ll have live reports from Black Creek tonight on Action 2 News.