Cleaning up flood damage - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Cleaning up flood damage

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LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WXOW) – The Mississippi River finally crested, but heavy storms did cause a deal of water damage for some riverfront homes; especially houses on Shore Acres Road in La Crescent.

"This is stuff I've taken out of the basement right here,” said Jerry Benish, pointing to large plastic bins filled with all sorts of items.

If you ask him how flooding this year, he'd tell you he's used to it.

"We really had no unusual things go on,” Benish said.

But he pumped water from his basement three times, already.

"We had fish in the basement. In fact, this year I was catching some real nice bass in my neighbor's lawn,” Benish said. “Get a load of that. That's the first time I've done that for a while."

Benish's patio is completely covered in water.

“This is the basement area and it was up to above screen area there — that's how high — you can almost see it on the wall how high (the water) was at."

But he's not the only person with a flooded basement. Sue Winkelmann went to her brother's house for vacation. What she found was 11 inches of water covering the basement floor.

"I know he told me since he lived here, I think 47 inches was the highest (water flooding) they had,” Winkelmann said.

It's a lot of water, especially considering Winkelmann lives in Arizona.

"Well it scared us a lot because we didn't know what to do,” she said, adding it took almost 10 hours to clear all the flood water out.

"The water's been up and down and up and down three different times,” Benish said.

The flooding is definitely a nuisance, Benish said. One year the road flooded so badly, residents had to take bikes to get to their homes.

But it's a small price to pay to live on the Mighty Mississippi. "You learn to live with it and you learn to love it,” he added.

Flood stage is at 12 feet in La Crosse. The river level is currently around 11.4 feet.


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