Deluge In The Dark: Cleaning Up Gays Mills 2007 - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Deluge In The Dark: Cleaning Up Gays Mills 2007

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GAYS MILLS, Wis. (WXOW) - -

From August 2007:

Life is starting to get back to normal in Gays Mills.

It's the town south of Viroqua that was evacuated Sunday because of severe flooding.

Some feared the recent rains would bring flood waters up again. Turns out, it didn't.

Just a few days ago, streets were underwater. Now, they're drying up.

And residents are cleaning up.

The sounds of pumps and power-washers fill the streets.

Ashley Kakes is pumping out over eight feet of water. "What a mess. You walk in there's water and mud everywhere. Every time I pick anything up there's water pouring out of it," she said.

Kakes and her fiance bought the house and re-did the flooring in July. "This isn't exactly what we wanted so soon," says Kakes.

They're cleaning up the same mixture of water, dirt, and sewage, that's across the street.

"The water came to right here. The water was literally as high as I am, nearly six feet," says Mike Christensen, the Pastor of Gays Mills United Methodist Church.

Just a few days ago, this street was vacant and filled with water. Now the community is reunited and committed to helping each other clean up what the flood waters left behind. "The people in town have been wonderful," says Abalon Paulson, helping clean the church up.

Everyone is pitching in, trying to get the town back into tip-top-shape. "It's people from not just the Gays Mills community but people from far away," says Christensen.

"Plenty of help to do it, but still it's a big process," says Kakes.

A process that's taking time. "Little by little we're trying to get everything off the floor and moved out so we can get the carpet tore out," she said.

Even as they sort through the endless soggy mess, residents say it could've been worse.

Not all residents in Gays Mills are back in their homes starting the clean up process.

Homes near the Kickapoo River still have water surrounding them.

Both the church and the Kakes have flood insurance to help with costs.

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