Arcadia flooding evacuates homes, keeps thousands of employees from work

Arcadia flooding evacuates homes,...

ARCADIA, Wis. (WKBT) - Flooding in Arcadia Thursday shut down businesses and forced families to be evacuated.

Thursday night’s storms brought much of the city underwater, meaning many of the city’s about 5,000 employees, including the 4,000 employed by Ashley Furniture alone, didn’t go to work Thursday.

"Our whole driveway was a river,” Arcadia resident Kim Peterson said. “We had a lot of water, lot of water."

Peterson lives near Ashley Furniture, and in her ten years in Arcadia, she has never seen flooding this bad. However, it does happen often.

"It's a swimming pool every time it storms,” she said. “It's getting old."

According to the National Weather Service, Arcadia got more than 7 inches of rain.

"Our plants are shut down today, and some of the operations are shut down until Monday, so as a result, that's a considerable loss,” said Ron Wanek, chairman and founder of Ashley Furniture.

It's not just Ashley Furniture.

Arcadia Mayor Rob Reichwein said flooding from Turton Creek flowed onto the main street, forcing all downtown businesses to keep their doors shut.

"It's crazy,” he said. "It's caused a lot of destruction and heartache in Arcadia."

Flooding was so bad families had to be evacuated early Thursday morning.

Water was receding Thursday afternoon, but problems remain. Flooding backed up the city's sanitary sewer system and North Oak Street is breached.

"We need to get Arcadia secure from reoccurring problem over and over and over,” said Gary Skroch, superintendent of Water and Waste Water Utility.

Reichwein said while he's working on long-term solutions for flooding, he has a short-term plan.

“Wait for the water to go down a little bit, assess the damage, get some equipment in here to clean up some roads, clean the main street and get back in business,” he said. “Once we're down, you're not going to knock us down, we just gotta do it better than we did yesterday."

Wisconsin Assemblyman Treig Pronschinske says he's working on a budget amendment for Arcadia to get financial help for preventing future flood damage.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Holy Family Catholic Church on 532 McKinley Street in Arcadia, opening their doors to at least four evacuated families Thursday morning.

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