Be prepared: Brown County officials warn residents of flooding risks heading into Spring season

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Brown County officials gathered Monday morning to deliver a warning to residents: flooding is likely coming to the area.

“I mean, it could be really, really bad,” said Paul Fontechio, Brown County Public Works Director.

That’s the mindset county officials have adopted heading into the Spring season.

“It’s easy to be prepared for nothing, but to be prepared for the worst, that’s the trick,” Fontechio said, “and I do think we as a community do need to be prepared right now.”

Traditionally, natural disasters aren’t a huge cause for concern in Northeast Wisconsin.

“We don’t have hurricanes, and we don’t have earthquakes,” Fontechio explained, “and we don’t have big wildfires like we do in other parts of the United States.”

He went on to explain that with the Great Lakes approaching record-setting water levels, the stage is set for flooding to continue to be an issue.

“The ground is 100% saturated,” he said. “Everything that can hold water: the ditches, the swamps, they’re full. It’s like having a cup of water that is right to the brim right now, anything you add in is overflow.”

That in mind, officials have decided to take a direct approach.

“Let’s really push preparedness,” Lauri Maki, Brown County Emergency Management Director said, “and making a plan and being prepared, being informed.”

Maki explained the county is asking residents to be ready with a plan and a packed bag so public safety officials can handle the bigger picture,

“We don’t have to worry as much, we can focus on the flooding or whatever the incident we’re dealing with is at hand” he said, “because we know they’re taking care of themselves.”

A website,, has been created to help keep the public informed.

There, you can check to see the location of floodplains, and sign up for Code Red, the system that the county will use to alert residents to evacuations.

The website also includes information about road closures, resources, and tips for preparing for a flood.

There is also information about flood procedures in individual municipalities within the county.

It’s all information officials hope is not needed.

“If we get lucky and don’t have much flooding this year, then we’re that much more prepared for next year,” Maki said.

To visit Brown County’s new flood-focused website, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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