Marinas in Rock County race to pull boats, docks from rising river

Marinas in Rock County are working around the clock to remove boats, docks and lifts from Lake Koshkonong and the Rock River.

“We’re just scrambling to help get people out and save their boats,” said Doug Wenman, of the Rock River Marina. “I went out yesterday myself on a boat and got three of them that were floating in the middle of a lake.”

Wenman said the issues began early Tuesday morning after a heavy rainfall caused the water levels to rise.

“It was thunder, lightning, pouring rain,” he said.

On Thursday, the Rock River Safety Patrol, a division of the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, put out a warning to boat owners to get their boats out of the water.

Still, Wenman said it’s been a race against the clock to take everything out before the flooding gets worse.

“The biggest fear that anyone’s got is, are people going to leave the area?” he said. “Because it’s been continuous with the flooding.”

In 2018, the Rock River near Lake Koshkonong had its worst flood in almost a decade. Now, Wenman said he’s worried it could happen again.

“Spring is normal to have high water here. It’s not that normal to have that in the fall like this,” he said. “So two years in a row, it’s kind of tough to have that.”

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