FOX47 NEWS - Lake Flooding Threatens Services

Jeff Angileri
Apr 6, 2009, 10:48 PM

Residents along Crystal Lake say they are one thunderstorm away from being cut off from the world.

The boat launch is underwater. We can't get out going east. We can't get to highway 60. We've got one exit to the subdivision which is also starting to go underwater, said lakeside resident Ed Roland.

Cars gingerly cross gravel-covered Crystal Lake Road, which is partially submerged by flood waters. If the water creeps any further, basic, vital services won't be able to reach the neighborhood.

We still have mail, garbage collection, and that sort of thing, said Ed Tuttle. Our concerns are fire protection, law enforcement, ambulances.

School buses already take a six mile detour to get to the other side of the lake. With the road crumbling, students may have to board the bus somewhere else. Residents are concerned about finding a long term solution.

We just want to know that somebody is trying to think about what's going on here and hopefully someone can come up with an answer for us, said Sue Heintz.

Last week, locals constructed a makeshift six-inch pipe, which is pumping 500 gallons of flood water per minute (about one-third of its DNR allowance), into the Wisconsin River via Roxbury Creek. Dane County says it offered more money, manpower, and piping supplies, but the lake district has yet to take advantage.

Tuttle asked, If Dane County has made this offer, why hasn't it been accepted and why aren't we making more progress than we are?

The help from Dane County included six-inch piping and $5,000.

Lake district vice chair Jeff Melville says he hasn't yet seen a check from the county.

He says the lake district is waiting to see how much a more permanent pipeline -- 2.5 miles long and eight inches in diameter -- would cost, and how much additional money they can get from other municipalities and private groups.

Melville estimates the new system could cost as much as $50,000 dollars and says the lake district can't afford that.

The lake district is holding a meeting Thursday night at 6pm in Roxbury to discuss upgrades on the pipe system. That meeting follows a 5pm hearing at Roxbury to determine permanent pumping on nearby Fish Lake.

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