Flood update: The Cocoa Conundrum

Sorry its taken me so long to get a new post up. Terrible storms, the end of school, and a husband who was out of town for a week have contributed to a slight lack of time.

However. Though today is (so far) a sunny day and we’re not particularly close to any river, we’re on the verge of being trapped where we are. I had planned hoped wished I could go to Worldwide Knit in Public Day celebrations in Lake Mills, but various road closures due to flooding have made that impossible.

If you’ve been following along on the Weather Channel, look at the Interstates of southern Wisconsin next time they put up a map. You’ll see an inverted triangle connecting Madison, Milwaukee, and Janesville/Beloit. All you need to know for this exercise is that I live somewhere in the middle of this triangle.

Recently, parts of I-94 (connecting Milwaukee and Madison) were closed because of high water and/or bridge concerns. The official route for traveling between Milwaukee and Madison is to take the other two legs of the triangle, I-43 to Janesville/Beloit, and then I-39 north to Madison. I don’t know where you think you can go after you get to Madison, certainly not to Minneapolis, but that’s beyond my jurisdiction. Got it? Can’t go past us, go around the whole area.

Within this triangle are Jefferson, which has closed two of its three bridges and cut the city in half. The river is up three feet from where it was flooding everything in April, and hasn’t crested yet. The city has asked for voluntary evacuations. Fort Atkinson has even worse problems, as it’s where the Bark River meets the Rock River. They’ve been filling sandbags for a couple of days. They sent out a map of potentially flooded areas, and at this point, the only entrance to the city is from the west. Which, sitting where we are, we’d have to go through Jefferson to get to. And we can’t. Unless we went way south to Whitewater, west to Fort, and came in from the south. Maybe.

To our east is Rome Pond. Last summer they built a new bridge over it and reconstructed the roadway. I don’t know what the old road and bridge were like, but I can tell you this bridge isn’t high over the water by any means. If the dams let go upstream (Lake Nagawicki in Delafield) we are going to be in a world of hurt for getting anywhere.

This brings to mind the horse I had when I was a teenager. She was a 16 year old Quarter Horse. We weren’t planning on showing her or traveling with her, so we didn’t have a trailer. And we bought her from a farm only a few miles away. When she saw the chance to take of and go back “home,” she did, and I frequently had to go out on the county roads to get her and bring her back.

This turned out to be pretty easy because Cocoa had a fear of going over bridges. Even a culvert bridge was too much for her. This truncated her “free” range so much that whenever a neighbor called to tell me she was in their yard, all I had to do was grab a couple of carrots and a halter, and walk over for her. She was a fat and greedy girl, and even when she later had a partner in crime, Cricket, they were always easy to bring home with carrots and oats. They never went any more than a mile away.

But feeling stuck in what’s likely to be a three-mile radius isn’t pleasant. So I’ll be knitting at home today, and looking at the maps. I may have to move the basement contents to the living room, but I have food, electricity, water, and health. (And yarn and fiber, don’t forget that.) But when you watch the weather, think about those of us in the Wisconsin Bermuda Triangle. We can’t get there from here.

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Published in: on June 14, 2008 at 7:41 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. In Which Piglet Is Entirely Surrounded By Water.

    Know the feeling!

    Oh well, they also serve who only sit and knit, even if you can’t see them from heah on WWKIP day. πŸ˜‰

    Stay dry!

  2. Oh, Bethie – and it’s sunny today (although the forecast for later in the day is…no, I won’t even say it.) But I’ll call out your name today while knitting at the Sow’s Ear, and I’m sending warm hugs to you. I’m not so much liking all this. And it’s not just *here*; a friend sent me a series of pictures of my beloved Old Fort William in Ontario and it’s entirely flooded. The Kamenistiqua River decided to go a’rambling too — at least this time they managed to move all the artifacts and (this is the big thing) move ALL the livestock. Last time it flooded there it was sudden and they lost their flock of heritage sheep. I can’t think about it without tearing up. What can it all mean, Mr Science?

  3. I’m so glad you’re not flooded – I knew it was close to you, and I was a bit worried! Trapped is no fun either, though. Here’s hoping you’ll continue to be Not Flooded, and that the water will all go back where it belongs soon…

  4. Oh, good luck! We’re trying a new vacation spot in Wisconsin this year and very nearly booked a house on Lake Dalton. Thankfully we ended up elsewhere. Go sit outside and knit–you’re still in public.

  5. I am very glad you are safe and dry even though restricted in movement. I’m north of Madison about 20 miles and our basement is wet, which was a bit of a surprise. We did a lot of moving of stuff and putting things on blocks which saved quite a bit. Stay dry!


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