Racine and Kenosha Co. residents brace for more rain, flooding
RACINE/KENOSHA COUNTIES (WITI) -- Rainfall on Wednesday, April 17th and more rain in the forecast for Thursday has residents in the Racine and Kenosha area worried. In towns like Waterford, where the Fox River runs through its center, sandbags have been filled and stacked, and residents are taking advantage.
Jason Best is hoping for the best -- but preparing for the worst. His home is situated on the shores of the Fox River in Waterford. When the last big flood happened five years ago, he almost lost everything in his basement.
"If the forecasted rain happens it will be worse than '08 so that's why I'm here. The boiler would go under water, washer, dryer, water heater etc. If it were to fill that whole basement it would be a real problem," Best said.
Further down the river, it is not a matter of when it will flood, but how badly.
Branson Lee's home stands right at the cusp of the Fox River's flood waters. In the Wheatland neighborhood, the river bound past its banks over a week ago. Since its peak on Friday, it has barely dropped a foot.
"This is the worst I've seen it so far. I thought it was going to go down, but not now," Lee said.
According to the National Weather Service, the more southern part of the Fox River will likely top out sometime on Saturday at major flood stage. That's more than a foot higher than where it was on Wednesday.
"We're hoping it doesn't make it to the house -- that's it. If it makes it to the house we're probably going to leave," Lee said.
In Waterford, the outlook is better, as the heaviest rain is predicted to stay further south. However, officials aren't taking any chances.
"The Fire Department was just knocking on my door, literally 10 minutes ago, handing out the note saying come and get the sandbags," Best said.
While river flooding is obviously a big focus when it comes to these heavy rains there's also a danger over the next two days of flash floods. The thing is, the ground is so saturated from last week's rains, that even a small thunderstorm can wash out roads nowhere near a river.