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People in North Freedom brace for flooding

NORTH FREEDOM (WKOW) — The rising waters along the Baraboo River are heading downstream and flooding communities all along the way. In North Freedom, homeowners like Howard Tarnowski are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

“The last couple of days we’ve been watching a couple of sites for river depth,” Tarnowski said. “At least two days ago, we knew it was going to be getting a lot worse. It just hit so much faster than anybody expected.”

The water is now threatening his home on Willow Street. Tarnowski expects the water to reach his house by late Thursday or early Friday.

“This wasn’t supposed to happen until sometime tomorrow, but the water started to rise very quickly overnight and this morning,” he said. “I would imagine that they’re predicting that it’s as bad as the flood in 2008, that it could happen by early morning. It could be going over the sandbags, so that means the water is going to end up in the basement.”

The Army National Guard placed sandbags around the house. He hopes that will be enough to keep the water out.

“They worked feverishly. They were really doing a good job. There were about a dozen people that were sandbagging,” Tarnowski said.

He’s not taking any chances. Tarnowski and his wife plan to leave before the water creeps over the sandbags.

“We’re probably going to get out of here tonight. I don’t think I’m going to wait until the water actually starts, until I’m wading in it,” he said.

“I think I’m trying to just take this minute by minute and just handle it.”

Tarnowski and his wife have only lived in this house since April. They’re just two of many dealing with this historic flooding along the Baraboo River.

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