“Dangerous situation:” Cleanup underway in Burlington; Fox River to dip below flood stage Saturday

BURLINGTON -- Cleanup efforts are underway in the City of Burlington as flooding remains a concern after storms rolled through the area.

Officials on Thursday morning, July 13th offered an update amid severe flooding. The police chief says the four bridges that cross the Fox River are closed to pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

"Because of the high level the Fox River is at, stay away from any standing water. It is a dangerous, dangerous situation," said Chief Mark Anderson.

If you do need to travel through the City of Burlington, Chief Anderson advises motorists to make use of the Burlington bypass, located south of the city. Additionally, the chief says there are many streets leaving the City of Burlington that are open.

"East and west State Street is open, South Pine Street is open, Browns Lake Drive is open as well," said Chief Anderson.

The police chief says they have had a number of reports of cars being left stranded from high waters -- and people getting dangerously close to actively flowing waters. The most reports they have received are related to property damage.

"If you feel unsafe in your home, please call, if it's an emergency, 911. If not, call the Racine County Sheriff's Office," said Chief Anderson.

The Fox River has crested early Monday morning at its highest historical level of 16.5 feet, and has slowly beginning to recede.  The level of the river is expected to dip below major flood stage of 14.0 feet by mid-morning on Saturday, July 15.

"Last time that we had waters close to being this high, several years ago, about a decade ago, was 13.5 feet. So what we are dealing with in the City of Burlington is unprecedented," said Chief Anderson.

More than 4,400 residents of the Burlington and Waterford area have been without power and telephone service.  We Energies announced the Waterford area power should be restored by noon Thursday.  The company is working to restore power to the Burlington area, and early estimates for restoration are by midday Friday, July 14th.

More than 60 members of the National Guard have been deployed in Burlington and are assisting in emergency efforts, including monitoring traffic at the several streets and all the bridges that remain closed. The Guard and Racine County Human Services staff will be conducting health and well visits to the elderly, homebound, and vulnerable adults in the Burlington area.

Officials say the Burlington Bypass is still the best and easiest way to move across the river and through the city.