PRAIRIE DU SAC (WKOW) – The loss of a family pet leaves grief and recognition of the power of flood waters in Prairie du Sac.
Sauk Prairie Police Chief Jerry Strunz says flooding in neighborhoods near the community’s high school damaged the basements of three homes on Parkside Street.
Authorities say at one of the homes with the owners away, a wall of water collapsed a basement door, with the family’s dog perishing in the flooding.
John Ludwigsen says his daughter and son-in-law moved into the home two weeks ago with their dog.
“We knew this area was prone to water but we didn’t think that this would ever happen,” Ludwigsen says. Marks on basement walls show the flood water reached heights of five feet.
Neighbor Nancy Udelhofen has lived in the subdivision for nearly twenty years and was shocked at the flood water’s approach to her backyard’s retaining wall.
“We’ve never seen it at the top of the retaining wall,” she says.
Another measure of the amount of water was the inability of a soccer field water retention pond near the high school to contain all of it.
“I’ve worked here for the police department for twenty-nine years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Strunz says.
Strunz says village employees worked from Thursday through Friday to divert water from two ponds to other drainage, bring in heavy duty agricultural equipment to facilitate the pumping.
“I think those efforts saved multiple homes in the area from being inundated with flood water,” Strunz says.
Udelhofen says village personnel also made sure of safety during the peak of high water.
“Everybody came together, went around, wanted to know how many people were in your home,” Udelhofen says. “They wrote all that down to account for everybody just in case we would have to evacuate.”
Even as they grieve the loss of the family dog, Ludwigsen says it’s incredible that neighbors who had yet to even meet his daughter responded to try to save the pet and pump out rushing water.
“So it’s really been a tremendous outpouring of help that we’ve received,” he says.