Gays Mills affected less by flood after move to higher ground - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Gays Mills affected less by flood after move to higher ground

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GAYS MILLS, WI (WXOW)—The people of Gays Mills have come to expect flooding.  But this time they feel like they've dodged a bullet.           

This weekend, high water didn't affect as many people as the floods of 2007 and 2008 partly due to the village board's decision to move some homes and businesses to higher ground back in 2009.

"This year we were expecting the worst and got blessed by not having the worst," Patrick Brockway, President, Village of Gays Mills said.

Brockway said ten homes are affected by the high water now, but that's nothing compared to 2007 and 2008.

"We lost 35-40 homes in the downtown area so we had less people to worry about," Brockway said.

Brockway used to live downtown, five blocks away from the river.

"I bought this place because it never was flood water here, ever," Brockway said.

After being flooded two years in a row, like many others in town, Brockway moved to higher ground.

"It was a great relief to move," he said. "I know my two girls were happy when I moved out of here so they didn't have to worry about their father."

Even the library abandoned their main street address in 2009.

"We were closed for a month doing repairs to walls and pulling up carpeting," Maura Otis, Library Director said.

Otis said this flood is easy.

"When we woke up to the call the water was coming up it felt completely different," Otis said.  "I didn't have to worry about my workplace. I didn't have to worry about my house. The only thing I had to worry about was my shed."

But, they're not in the clear yet.

"Comes down south of Viroqua and all goes down through here so we still have that water to come through," Brockway said.

Brockway said the more time between rain the better because they're still waiting for these waters to recede.

On Monday night, Gays Mills was still under a flood warning.

Flood stage is 13 feet, the Kickapoo River is currently at 14.9 feet in Gays Mills.

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