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“A real headache,” but Kenosha mayor credits city workers for quick response to flash flooding

KENOSHA -- Heavy rain fell in SE Wisconsin early Monday, July 10th, and Kenosha was hit hard. As much as six inches fell in a short period of time, and it led to flash flooding. Homeowners and business owners then spent the day drying out.

By Monday evening in Kenosha, it was hard to believe flooding was an issue at all in the area. The mayor credited that to a quick response by city workers. But for some homeowners, the work was just beginning.

It was a rough start to the work week for Rebecca Fahey and many others.

Rebecca Fahey

"It's a real headache and now I've missed work because of it," Fahey said.

Fahey's home is one of several that flooded due to the torrential downpours.

Flooding in Kenosha

"I made my kids get up and we started getting the area rugs picked up, the toys...everything," Fahey said.

The flash flooding in Kenosha made for dangerous driving conditions, with vehicles submerged and some drivers stranded.

Flooding in Kenosha

"We literally had five inches of rain, plus or minus, depending on who you talk to, in about a four-hour period of time," Mayor John Antaramian said.

Mayor Antaramian

Mayor Antaramian said more than two dozen city workers responded to help clean up early on Monday morning.

"Whenever you get that much rain, it's hard for any system to be able to handle it," Mayor Antaramian said.

He said he personally toured some of the neighborhoods impacted.

"The majority of our responsibility is to react quickly to try to reduce the problem, but also to make sure we look into the future and say, 'OK, how do we resolve some of this?'" Mayor Antaramian said.

Flooding in Kenosha

The mayor said there were at least five areas that are most vulnerable to flooding, and plans are already in motion to address the issue.

"Infrastructure to me is one of the most important aspects of what we need to be doing in the city and so this is part of that overall infrastructure plan -- not just roads, but underground piping and water utility," Mayor Antaramian said.

Flooding in Kenosha

Homowners like Fahey said they plan on taking new proactive measures to make sure the rain won't visit the inside of her basement again.

The mayor said by the end of the year, budgets and planning will determine which neighborhood is upgraded first.