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High water floods Lafayette
THE BRIDGE in Darlington was closed Saturday afternoon as a vehicle stalled out in the high water approaching the bridge. The Pecatonica crested at 15.35 feet in Darlington. See more pictures in this weeks RJ.

LAFAYETTE COUNTY – Spurred on by high rain totals in the county, the Pecatonica River flowed over its banks and flooded many low lands and closed several bridges in the county including the Darlington Hwy. 23 bridge.
    According to police chief Jason King the river in Darlington crested at 15.35 feet on Saturday, July 22 at 3:30 p.m. King said, “We typically close the bridge when water levels reach 15 feet. This is the fifth time the river has reach 15 feet since the 1993 flood – twice in June 2008, once in June 2000 and once in Feb. 1994.
    Dwayne Larson, weather observer for the Nation Weather Service, reported a total of 6.6 inches in two separate rain events that happened Wednesday and Thursday. A Friday evening storm was looking like it was tracking right towards Lafayette County, but the bulk of the rain went south instead. Reports of 6 to 10 inches were reported in the Apple Canyon Lake area Friday evening.
    Darlington wasn’t the only area hard hit by the swollen river. The Gratiot ball field and shelter house were under water, with Hwy. County K to the north being closed because of water on the road. South Wayne reported the bottoms were full of water, but no road closures. The Roller Coaster Road bridge at Bernadoni’s bottom was closed due to high water. The eastern stretch of Wildcat Road was closed. County K to the west of the bridge, near Red Rock Road, was closed due to high water on the road. Also the Cheese County ATV/UTV trail was closed due to water on some sections of the trail.
    In Willow Spring Township the Calamine bridge on County G was closed and just to the north Ferndale Road was closed. In Kendall Township, County O was closed between County G to County C, also a part of Oak Park Road was closed. Argyle Township had one road closed - South Lake Road.
    Blanchardville saw the Pecatonica River crest at 14.87 feet, above the flood stage at 11 feet, Saturday, flooding into McKellar Park and closing County H and the corner of Hwy. 78.
    After a reported 9 inches of rain fell in New Diggings, a bridge on County I south of New Diggings is out. The high water washed out the guard rails on each side of the bridge and washed away large portions of pavement.
    Teresa Burgess, Emergency Management Director for Lafayette County, reported County I at Richardson Lane remains closed.  Shawnee Road will remain closed near stateline. County D and County N are now closed in the South Wayne area. Roads to the north are clearing and have been opened. (Note: these items were reported to the Republican Journal Tuesday afternoon and this is a fluid situation, pun intended.)
    King said, “This would be considered a minor flood by Darlington’s standards. Flood mitigation efforts over the past twenty years has made it so floods like this one do not have a significant effect upon homes or businesses.” He continued, “The fact that the City of Darlington owns all the riverfront property and has converted it into parks has helped immensely. There will be much cleanup in the coming days, at least no residents or business owners were displaced.”
    Here are recent levels according to United States Geological Service (USGS).
Recent Crests in Darlington:
(1) 10.45 ft on 01/21/2017
(2) 11.57 ft on 07/26/2016
(3) 10.12 ft on 02/21/2016
(4) 10.29 ft on 12/15/2015
(5) 10.75 ft on 07/25/2010
(6) 11.41 ft on 03/13/2010
(7) 12.94 ft on 03/09/2009
(8) 12.96 ft on 02/11/2009
(9) 15.65 ft on 06/14/2008
(10) 15.75 ft on 06/09/2008
(11) 10.07 ft on 04/12/2008
(12) 10.61 ft on 08/21/2007
(13) 13.80 ft on 05/23/2004
(14) 15.77 ft on 06/01/2000
(15) 12.56 ft on 05/17/1999
(16) 12.36 ft on 04/01/1998
(17) 14.69 ft on 02/21/1997
(18) 10.59 ft on 06/18/1996
(19) 15.75 ft on 02/20/1994
(20) 18.22 ft on 07/06/1993
(21) 19.80 ft on 06/29/1990
(22) 14.75 ft on 02/22/1985
(23) 15.64 ft on 03/22/1975
(24) 19.16 ft on 06/30/1969
(25) 16.47 ft on 01/25/1967
(26) 15.38 ft on 03/17/1963
(27) 16.06 ft on 03/30/1960
(28) 16.00 ft on 02/09/1955
(29) 15.79 ft on 01/22/1954
(30) 17.47 ft on 02/20/1953
(31) 16.61 ft on 07/08/1951
(32) 20.71 ft on 07/16/1950
(33) 17.65 ft on 02/28/1948
(34) 17.18 ft on 01/06/1946
(35) 15.26 ft on 03/15/1944
(36) 15.73 ft on 03/16/1943
(37) 14.96 ft on 08/02/1942
(38) 17.60 ft on 02/21/1937