DPW crews handle localized flooding in southeast Wisconsin

THIENSVILLE (WITI) -- Two snow storms, warming temperatures plus rain. It all adds up to extremely wet conditions in southeast Wisconsin -- and some nervous homeowners living along waterways.

Joel Kolste is the operations superintendent for Sheboygan's Department of Public Works. It's his crews who are responsible for getting the excess water where it's supposed to go -- and closing roads when they can't.

"We did respond over the weekend to several areas of localized flooding in the neighborhoods and that kind of thing. With all the rain we had and the increased temperature causing the snow melt," said Kolste.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the Sheboygan River crested around 11-and-a-half feet Monday night, March 11th. That's more than three feet above flood stage. A day later, the Riverside Kiwanis Park is still showing signs of high water. But it's one of the few places you'll find any signs of flooding.

"For the most part we are quite a few feet away from affecting any property here which is good news," said Kolste.

In Thiensville, the Milwaukee River has risen about a foot above flood stage. It is expected to start receding. The NWS predicts flooding will end by late Thursday morning.

Kolste believes the season's first flood could have been much worse.

"The river has been really low this past year with the drought that we've had so we have some room to expand," said Kolste.

The Milwaukee and Sheboygan Rivers aren't the only ones flooding in southeast Wisconsin. The Fox River in Kenosha County was expected to crest nearly two feet above flood stage Tuesday afternoon. The Root River canal in Racine County was expected to crest just inches above flood stage Tuesday morning.