Racine deals with cleanup from Tuesday's flooding

CREATED Apr 9, 2013

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RACINE - Tuesday’s rain caused major traffic troubles in Southeast Wisconsin. Drivers haven't had to deal with flooded roadways in awhile, which caused problems in Racine.

“The sewer caps were blown all the way off down 16th street,” said Tim Raasch with American Family Insurance.

Raasch watched as the valley on Lathrop road filled with rain Tuesday morning, and drivers tried to forge ahead.

“They thought they could make it, but they couldn't,” he said.

The police department had to tow at least one car that got stuck, and Raasch said it was at least 2 ½ to three feet.

Just down the street at the public works department, crews were patrolling the streets to clear drains from any debris to keep the water moving.

“Patrolling town, looking for spots that could potentially cause backups that could be avoided with maintenance,” said Mark Yehlen with DPW.

DPW commissioner Yehlen says about a half dozen manhole covers blew because of the rain.

“It's been awhile since this has happened,” he said. “A lot of debris that hasn't had a chance to get washed out of wherever and end up in the street, it's been a long time.”

But Yehlen said it could be worse.

“It beats snow! I'll take this anytime,” he said.

And as a friendly insurance agent, Raasch had a bit of advice for this week.

“Now's a good time to call your insurance guy and say: ‘Am I covered if my basement floods?” he reminded homeowners.

Yehlen said the street flooding wasn't bad Tuesday, but he expects it could get much worse by Thursday when everything is soggy and can't handle any more rain.

Lacey Crisp contributed to this story