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Heavy rain leaves some La Crosse streets flooded again

By Pauleen Le, ple@wkbt.com
Published On: Jun 21 2013 05:48:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 21 2013 07:01:58 PM CDT

Many of La Crosse area residents woke up to some thunder, lightning and lots of rain Friday morning.

The downpour caused flooding in several intersections throughout the city, but this isn't a new issue.

The solution to the problem comes down to money.

While some homeowners are spending thousands to clean up the damage after streets flood, city leaders said they need much more than thousands to prevent it from happening.

Flooded streets wasn't something Deb Johnson wanted to see when she woke up this morning.

“My car was in the street (and) it got into my car,” said Johnson. “That's how high it was.”

Johnson has lived through flooding on Diagonal Road in La Crosse before.

In 2010, the damage was so bad she said it destroyed her basement.

“It was actually like reliving it all over again because I opened my door and it was all water again,” said Johnson.

She said it’s time for something to change.

“I would like to see them clean the gutters and do something with the drainage,” said Johnson. “(Maybe) try to drain it somewhere else.”

“We've been addressing for pick a number, six, eight, 10 years or even better,” said Dale Hexom, director of the La Crosse Public Works Department.

Hexom said the city has poured millions of dollars into the sewer system to try to fix the problem, but even so, some of the intersections on Market Street as well as parts of Losey Boulevard and Moore Street are still prone to flooding after a heavy rain.

While he said there is a solution, other things have to come first.

“It's a fixable problem,” said Hexom. “It's a multimillion-dollar fixable problem. Our capital improvement budgets, on an annual basis, are for the most part fixed with other priorities, streets for instance, park and recreation improvement, city building and facility improvements. All of our infrastructure is aging.”

Hexom said the city recently did some work on King Street to help with street flooding.

He said when more funding becomes available work on the site will continue.

The La Crosse area could see another round of storms Friday night.

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