Deluge In The Dark: Rushford Flooding - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Deluge In The Dark: Rushford Flooding

Updated:
A look at Rick Johnson's home in 2007. A look at Rick Johnson's home in 2007.
Rushford, MN (WXOW) -

From August 2007:

At times five to seven feet of water flooded downtown, forcing emergency crews to make rescues in canoes.

"At about 3:30A.M. I heard a knock on the door. They said the water was coming over the dike," said Rushford resident Rick Johnson.

Homes were evacuated early Sunday morning as Rush Creek began to overflow into the city of Rushford. "I got a few things. I got out of the house, but before I knew it the water was here," he said.

Johnson had no way of getting out of town. "I sat and watched it come up. I watched it come up to my house and go into my basement."

Now, all that's left in his basement is mud from the river. Rick lost his washer and dryer and numerous other appliances costing nearly $10,000 in damages.

"I feel lucky," he said.

But, on the other side of town, some residents weren't so lucky. A trailer home park was completely submerged in water. The water was at least ten feet high, up to the roof tops of the trailers. Volunteers have already pumped thousands of gallons of water out of this area, but crews say residents can't come back home until all the water is gone.

"The decks. I bet there are no decks connected to houses. They have all floated away," said volunteer worker Jeff Passow.

Shoes, toys, and furniture have also drifted away in the flood waters. Volunteers are trying to pump out any of the excess water left in low lying areas.

"There might have been six to eight pumps going at one time. To speed things up and get the water out," he said.

Until all the water is out of the city, and all the mud is cleared off the streets, residents will not be permitted to permanently return home. We were told most residents are staying with family and friends. Only 38 people stayed in the Red Cross Shelter last night, but officials believe more than 100 residents will need long term housing while they rebuild from the floods.

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