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'We've never seen or experienced anything like this,' DeForest sees widespread flooding

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DEFOREST, Wis. - The village of DeForest is recovering following widespread flooding. The Yahara River overflowed prompting about a dozen home evacuations overnight Thursday.

"No one has seen or experienced anything like this," said Kelli Bialkowski, the village's public service director.

Bialkowski said a variety of factors came together to cause the flooding.

“We had high temperatures, frozen ground, significant amounts of snow melting,” Bialkowski said. “The storm sewers just couldn’t keep up.”

The flooding extended to an area away from the Yahara. Flooding damaged homes away from bodies of water in the village, as well. John and Samantha Nauman live about a mile east of the Yahara River. Their basement was filled with at least 5 feet of water Friday morning.

"It's never been this bad by a long shot," John Nauman said.

Nauman does not live on a flood plain so he is without flood insurance. He said he spent all of Thursday night trying to pump water out of the basement.

"My furnace is ruined, the water heater is ruined, the washer-dryer, everything that is down there is destroyed," Nauman said. "Our gas is shut off, our power is shut off."

Nauman said his family is staying with his in-laws nearby, but the situation has taken an emotional toll on them. The Naumans said they are finding a lot of support from the DeForest community.

"We had neighbors coming in and checking on us, asking if there is anything they can do," Samantha Nauman said.

"We’ve certainly had a lot of support,” John Nauman added.

The water levels in DeForest are receding. The village is still handing out sandbags that can be picked up near Village Hall or the fire station.

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