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Reedsburg flooding calls for duck boats as neighborhoods go under water

REEDSBURG (WKOW) — Parts of Reedsburg will likely take weeks and months to recover after the rising Baraboo River flooded homes and buildings. 

Streets looked more like streams and rivers, combining at what used to be intersections. Homes looked more like small islands nestled together, surrounded by water that looked more like chocolate milk. 

"These are people’s lives floating around in here," said Jason Field as he looked at the floating debris. 

There were tricycles that once belonged to kids who rode down what used to be the neighborhood streets. There were floating toys and basketballs bobbing alongside trashcans and tires. 

"It’s absolute devastation for these people," Field said as he looked on at the flooded homes. 

Field is the owner of Dells Army Ducks, the duck boats usually used to give tourists rides in Wisconsin Dells. However, Field drove a few of his boats to several communities like Reedsburg and La Valle in case his help was needed. 

"We were ready to do any type of water rescues that were needed," said Field. 

Thankfully, he didn’t have to rescue anyone.

However, he saw the damage firsthand as he floated down the neighborhoods. 

Some families were seen stacking sandbags around their homes with the water level just inches away. 

Others didn’t have time to build a sand wall. 

"Everything, everything is in there," said Martha Holston, whose home flooded quickly overnight on Tuesday. 

"I barely got anything out of there. I got my pets out, my two vehicles, but that’s my other vehicle over there," she said as she pointed 
towards her flooded car. The roof of the car is the only thing that could be seen. 

Holston is like many of her neighbors who don’t have flood insurance. Many of them fathom what they’ve lost as they can’t get back in their
homes to find out for themselves until the water recedes. 

"It’s a terrible feeling. Medicines are lost, clothes are lost, pictures, memories, everything," Holston said. 

Across town and down Main Street, volunteers helped a business owner build a wall of sandbags around his building that stands near the Baraboo

The river kept rising hour after hour on Wednesday. By the evening hours, the main bridge over the Baraboo River on Main Street was closed due 
to rushing water flowing over the thoroughfare. 

Sauk County Emergency Management projects the river to crest in the Reedsburg area late Wednesday night, with the water receding Thursday morning. 

It’s relief that can’t come soon enough for those whose homes flooded. 

"We’ll bounce right back," said Holston.


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