Oconto residents talk flooding issues, Red Cross provides aid

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The city of Oconto is trying to recover after major flooding inundated the area earlier this week.

A few businesses affected by the flooding have to temporarily close and residents are frustrated with the damage the water has caused.

“This is the worst I’ve seen it ever, I’ve never been flooded out anywhere,” says 12-year Oconto resident Brian Loyd. “It’s just heartbreaking to know that a lot of people lost a lot of things and I’m fortunate to not have lost a lot of things, but just a few personal items.”

The Red Cross is no stranger to disaster relief and that’s why they’ve set up shop in Oconto.

They’ve observed a number of issues that led to this week’s flooding.

“The river is out of it’s banks, there’s ice jams being reported and a lot of people have water in their basement and in their homes,” says Bob Mayer, the disaster program manager for Northeast Wisconsin.

The clean-up kits the Red Cross provided are just a small peice of the clean-up efforts homeowners are dealing with.

“I’ve got furniture down there and that’s got to be tossed out, can’t be saved,” says Loyd. “My washer and dryer, I had to put up on blocks to get them out of water. “Other than that, it’s just trying to remove the water from the basement.”

And he’s on the right track.

“Getting rid of things that might be affected by water so clothing, couches, furniture, some cases furnaces and water heaters are affected,” says Mayer. “They need to have qualified people come in and assess those.”

The city’s administrator said they are pre-planning for the next possible flood.

A little solace to those bearing the burden of the floodwaters right now.

“Hopefully we can get this under control before spring because I think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Loyd. “No pun intended.”

The city of Oconto is offering free curbside pick-up for any items damaged by the flooding.

A barge will break up ice Friday, that will help get rid of dams that push water into people’s homes.

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