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“The main artery:” Highway 50 reopens in Kenosha County after severe, historic flooding

KENOSHA COUNTY -- Highway 50 in Kenosha County reopened to traffic Tuesday, July 18th, after it was closed for six days due to severe, historic flooding.

Around 1:00 p.m., Kenosha County Highway officials opened both the eastbound and westbound lanes -- signaling a major breakthrough in the cleanup process -- but there's still a long way to go.

Leah Rasmussen's salon

With several helping hands, Leah Rasmussen got to work Tuesday morning removing insulation from the crawl space below her salon.

"They're putting fans down there to air it out," Rasmussen said.

On July 12th, Rasmussen said she woke up to water from the Fox River rushing across her property.

"And I felt OK with the water rushing to the culvert, but once it stopped rushing and it started filling up over by the culvert, I knew we were in trouble," Rasmussen said.

Leah Rasmussen's salon

Highway 50 in Kenosha County

Highway 50 in Kenosha County

Highway 50 in Kenosha County

Rasmussen is one of several people who live and work along Highway 50 who had to evacuate due to the flooding. The roadway had to be closed until the water receded and the pavement could dry out.

"It's the main artery east and west in Kenosha County, which is important for emergency vehicles and the general public," Jim Kreuser, Kenosha County executive said.

As crews packed up the orange cones Tuesday afternoon, Kreuser said there's a lot of uncertainty that remains.

"We still have some areas that have been breeched that aren't driveable, but they're under repair," Kreuser said.

Highway 50 in Kenosha County

Rasmussen said she's optimistic she'll be able to reopen her business in a few weeks, knowing that what has been washed away or damaged can be replaced.

"What's important? What was important to me on Wednesday was not important to me on Thursday," Rasmussen said.

Highway 50 in Kenosha County

We're told Governor Scott Walker will be in Kenosha County Thursday, July 20th to assess the cleanup progress.

Officials are reminding people who may be passing through the area to give residents privacy, rather than stopping to take pictures of their flooded lawns.

Meanwhile, all Kenosha County residents, businesses or farms that sustained flood damage are reminded to report that damage to the Kenosha County Emergency Management Flood Hotline at 262-605-7924, leaving a message detailing the damage sustained. Damage may also be reported by email at disaster@kenoshacounty.org. Reporting damage will assist the county in its efforts to obtain disaster relief funding.

Wisconsin Emergency Management personnel announced Monday they're working with county and municipal officials to put together an estimate of the cost of the damage in the area.