Flood preparations kick off in Columbia County

Sandbags available as snow thaws out across the state
Flood preparations kick off in Columbia County

After more than 40 season changes living so close to the Wisconsin River shoreline, and you can bet Mike Hollander has seen it all when it comes to flooding.

“The lower roads get flooded every year, every spring, every fall, sometimes in the summer,” Hollander said.

Hollander said that flooding was the worst it has been as of late a couple of years ago. He said the problem is not usually houses flooding out, but rather roads being blocked by excessive water.

“I have a boat. I can get to town if I need to,” Hollander said.

Hollander said the sudden warm-up has not been reason enough to worry. He said flooding close by is almost entirely dictated by what goes on hours north.

“I’m pretty optimistic because they don’t have all that much snow up north,” Hollander said. “It’s not like they have record snowfall.”

However, with things thawing out, Columbia County Emergency Management isn’t taking any chances. Starting Monday, the county is offering free sandbags for residents.

Sandbag materials are available in the parking lot of the Columbia County Law Enforcement Center at 403 Jackson Street. The county is asking people to bring their own shovel and bag if they have them. Otherwise, there are some pre-made sandbags to take home.

Hollander said sandbags won’t help him and his neighbors with flooded-out roads, but he hopes the county is taking any precautions it can to help mitigate flooding issues.

“If we’re proactive about sandbagging, already sandbags are available, then we can be proactive about flood control,” Hollander said.