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Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding in Watertown, drivers rescued

Flash flooding from heavy rainfall affected several areas in Watertown.

“I mean it was pouring so hard I could hardly look across the street, I mean it was just raining like crazy,” said Denis Hansen.

Near the intersection of Hiawatha and Main Street, the roads were impassable.

A look overhead from the SKY DRONE 58, showed they appeared like a lake. However, it didn’t stop people from trying to get through.

Firefighters having to come to the rescue of several drivers who were submerged after not heeding barricades.  

“They weighted through in water up through their chest, and literally opened he passenger door, took him out, two fire men and one on each side, floated him across the street, up the bank, that’s when they just picked him up from there,” said Scott Kaufmann, who lives nearby.

Not too far away, a second car was submerged in water. Fortunately, both drivers were okay, not needing any medical attention. According to the Watertown Police Department, a total of four people were rescued from three cars. They say property damage is mostly flooded basements. A retaining wall at Pick 'n Save also toppled from the strong water.


At Rock River Gymnastics, they were trying to get the water out.

“It came in every hole, every door, obviously every foam that we use. This is foam underneath carpet, that’s all gonna be ruined,” said Lori Holland, owner.

The crew was working all day to get things dry again.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get, most of my equipment that I can, mats that haven’t gotten drenched, and try to get most of the standing water moving around.”

Holland said she's unsure when they'll be able to re-open.

"We have a $500 dollar deductible we're going to try to take care of the water ourselves," said Victoria.

Victoria and Robert Greenwald spent their afternoon cleaning up the water damage in the 2017 Chevy Cruz.

"We're going to shop vac out the rest of the water with some baking soda," said Robert.

In addition, the Watertown Unified School District decided to cancel their season opener due to flooding at the stadium. According to a post on their Facebook page, the football game is rescheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m.

With no one seriously hurt, some took advantage of Watertown's namesake. Josh Gerstner launched his kayak, and some children used a flooded playground as a splash pad. Witnesses also report people wading through the water in inter-tubes, jet ski's and boats.

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