“Completely underwater:” Highway 50 in Kenosha Co. to close for “several days” due to flooding

Kenosha County flooding

KENOSHA COUNTY -- For the second time  in a week, people in SE Wisconsin were busy Wednesday, July 12th dealing with flooding, and it was a big problem in Kenosha County. Officials are closing Highway 50 in Kenosha County for "several days" as of 6:00 p.m. Wednesday due to flooding impacting the Fox River. The opening of the roadway will depend on water levels decreasing. Detours will be posted for alternate routes.

After severe storms overnight, many woke up Wednesday to a surreal sight.

"The trampoline, you can't even see. The fire pit, the fence line is completely underwater," said Frank Perrone, Salem resident.

Kenosha County flooding

Sinkhole on Highway K north of Paddock Lake in Kenosha County due to flooding

Kenosha County flooding

Heavy rain turned roads into rivers, and formed a sinkhole that washed out Highway K. In the case of Frank Perrone the rain flooded his new backyard and basement.

"We moved in here about a month ago. For us to have the finished basement, all the stuff finally together... now our couch is under water -- and beds and TVs," said Perrone.

Frank Bell has called the shores of Hooker Lake home for decades.

"This is probably the highest I've seen it in the 45 years that I've lived here," said Bell.

Kenosha County flooding

While his house was OK, the morning still involved a salvage operation.

Frank Bell

"I got up about 7:30[a.m.] and my pier was floating away, so I got a couple of water ski ropes and swam out and put a rope around it, and my wife pulled it in," said Bell.

Despite a daunting cleanup ahead, and more storms on the horizon, residents tried to look on the bright side.

"I mean, I kind of want to go swimming in the backyard. We always wanted a swimming pool," said Alyssa Perrone and Karine Morales, sisters.

Kenosha County flooding

As for Frank Perrone, an up-to-date insurance policy doesn't hurt either.

Officials said due to anticipated flooding, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will implement a closure Wednesday evening along WIS 50 at the Fox River in New Munster in Kenosha County. The closure is to be in place by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday and may be in effect throughout the weekend of July 14th, or until water levels dissipate.

With high water levels on adjacent roadways, and active construction along WIS 142 near Burlington, it is suggested that motorists follow alternate routes along WIS 83, WIS 11 and WIS 75 to get around the closure.

As always, motorists are advised to drive with caution when traveling in impacted areas and are reminded to not drive through standing or flowing water. For up to date closures and detour information visit https://511wi.gov or follow @511WI on Twitter.

Meanwhile, all Kenosha County residents or businesses that have sustained damage should report that damage to the Kenosha County Emergency Management Flood Hotline at 262-605-7924. Leave a message there in regards to the damage sustained. Damage can also be reported at the email address of disaster@kenoshacounty.org.

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser reiterated in a news release how important it is for people, businesses and municipalities to report flood damage to Emergency Management to optimize the available state and federal resources.

"If you’re unsafe or feel unsafe and need to get out, call a friend or call law enforcement," Kreuser said. "Make sure you check on elderly and disabled friends and family. Call them – don’t drive there until it’s safe to travel."