Heavy rains cause flooding again in Waterville

Jay Schneider, Life/Enterprise

Boats and pontoons were flipped over during the Saturday, July 20 storm which ravaged the Lake Region Area approximately 11 a.m. No one was injured but the pictured road was closed for a number of hours while workers got the boats out. (Beth Clinton Photo)

Storms late Friday night and early Saturday morning dropped more than five inches of rain in Waterville.

This rain, combined with already high water tables, raised Lakes Tetonka and Sakatah, along with the Whitewater River, to dangerously high flooding levels.

The 2.5 inches of water in less than an hour Saturday, July 20 proved to be too much for the lakes to handle.

Many areas are currently under water and a number of streets are unpassable.

The city beach and Lagoons Park are closed. Sakatah Boulevard, Lillian Street, Lind Street, and Marian Street are closed to thru traffic. Paquin Street next to Casey's has water covering it, but is passable. The west end of Virginia Street and Tetonka Bay Drive also have water, but are passable.

"The waters will continue to rise over the next several days. We do not know at this time when the waters will crest," Emergency Management Director Doug Spicer said. Cannon Gate Campground is currently underwater and Lake Sakatah is right to the edge of the roadway along side the east end of the lake. In a couple spots the water is running over the road.

"Any time the waters cover the roadways and sit stagnant for a period of time, roads can start to soften and deteriorate, so please keep off these roadways if possible," Spicer said.

Beth Clinton, who also is a member of the Waterville Emergency Management Team was woken by a text around 7 a.m. Saturday, July 20 that the area was under a severe thunderstorm warning.

After the first storm passed, Emergency Management personnel were called to Main Street in front of Phil Mart and the Laundry Mat, where the street flooded. A car stalled in the middle of the street and had to be pushed out.

The second storm hit Waterville approximately 10:40 a.m. on Saturday. This storm was packed with heavy rain and intense winds, reaching more than 60 miles per hour.

"After the second storm we had more calls to assess damage," Clinton said. "Pontoons were flipped over on Lind Street and we had to close the road for several hours. There were trees down in several locations in town and flooded roadways."

According to Spicer, the water levels rose approximately three-quarters of an inch from Sunday into Monday morning.

"Water levels will continue to be high for days, maybe weeks, yet to come, depending on any further precipitation," Spicer said. "Emergency Management is requesting all residents to keep monitoring water levels on their property. If there is a need to....

To see more on this story pick up the July 25, 2019 print editions of the Life or Enterprise papers.


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