Rock County officials take efforts to recover from flooding

Officials close parks, provide sand bags
Rock County officials take efforts to recover from flooding

Several parts of Rock County remain covered with water, including Lake Leota Park in Evansville.

Mac Stewart’s plans to take his grandson fly-fishing quickly changed after they arrived at the park Wednesday afternoon.

“We thought we’d come over here and do some fishing but the problem of course is the land is gone and the river is on top of everything,” said Stewart.

Flood waters have pushed the 20-acre lake over its banks, soaking the ground near the playground and the skate park.

“I think this is the first time I’ve seen rapids, so to speak,” said long-time Evansville resident Susan Kruser.

City leaders have closed the park indefinitely.

“We only had about an inch and a half of rain but Dane County had more than us and it’s all coming down the creek and through our park so until the water crests and actually starts to recede, it’s tough to say how long it will be,” said Evansville City Administrator Dan Wietecha.

Wietecha said the park was the hardest hit.

“We had some localized flooding where some storm grates were blocked up with some leaves or branches that had to be cleared out and some concerns about the bridge on Water Street,” said Wietecha.

The City of Beloit’s Leeson Park and Dog Park will be closed until further notice, according to a release.

The parks have been closed for the general public’s safety due to flooding issues, according to the release.

High water also created problems for drivers using US Highway 14 and State Road 59.

Just outside of Evansville, Union Road also had to be closed. People said they’ll be keeping an eye on Lake Leota.

“You meet people down here, see all your friends and neighbors. We all come to look, like we’ve never seen it before,” said Kruser.

Stewart said he and his grandson will spend the rest of their day in town and return to the park another day.

“It’s not going to go down for a few days so maybe we’ll come back next week or something like that.”

They’re hoping things dry off at Lake Leota Park in time for their big Fourth of July celebration next weekend, which is held in the park.

The Beloit Public Works Department is also providing city residents sand and sandbags, according to another release.

Officials said the sand and bags will be accessible outside at the Department of Public Works at 2351 Springbrook Court.

Residents should bring shovels to fill the bags, according to the release.

Officials said residents can contact the city with questions at 608-364-2929.

Officials close parks, provide sand bags