“Deeper than you think:” Kenosha County sheriff calls flooding the worst he’s seen

Kenosha County flooding

KENOSHA COUNTY -- More storms overnight and into Wednesday, July 12th led to more flooding in Kenosha County, and Sheriff David Beth called it some of the worst he's ever seen. He held a joint news conference with Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser Wednesday regarding the historic flooding impacting nearly every major roadway and low-lying area across the county.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday activated the Kenosha County Emergency Operations Center due to the heavy rainfall and severe flooding.

Kenosha County flooding

Kenosha County flooding

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.

"I've never seen the field across from me flood that bad," said Glenn Thomas.

Thomas said he had some water in his basement, which wasn't bad considering how much was rushing by his rural Kenosha home every minute.

David Beth

"It's like a blizzard. If you don't have to leave, don't -- because you are going to go through water that may be deeper than what you think," said Sheriff Beth.

Sheriff Beth said the flooding was so severe, he didn't have enough deputies or equipment to physically block off every flooded road.

"All of our squads are out, as many personnel as we can get out and we are trying to figure this out because we have to relieve them later," said Beth.

County officials said everyone's safety is top priority.

Kenosha County flooding

Flooding in Kenosha County

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.

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."