July 8, 2008

Monday’s Rain a Cleansing Blip

By Jim Leute, The Janesville Gazette, Wis.

Jul. 8--JANESVILLE -- Monday night's rainstorm soaked dry lawns, cleansed area streets and raised the level of the Rock River, but not enough to cause further flooding concerns.

As of 7 a.m. today, Janesville received 1.16 inches of rain.

About 400 Alliant Energy customers in the Janesville area were without power late Monday night, but all have had their power restored, an Alliant spokesman said this morning.

Janesville police and fire department officials reported some trees down on Tanglewood Drive on the city's northeast side and a snapped utility pole on Ravine Street.

City officials monitoring the Rock River's level at the Afton gauge measured 11.33 feet at 8:45 p.m. Monday and 11.65 feet at 1:15 this morning. The heavy rains in the area boosted the river's level by four inches in four-plus hours.

That caused some water to creep into the travel lanes on North Parker Drive near the Memorial Bridge, although the northbound lanes set up for two-way traffic were passable and now are back to normal, according to city officials.

By this morning, the Afton gauge was back to 11.53 feet and falling.

The National Weather Service is predicting water levels will recede more than five inches in the next 24 hours and then drop at a rate of two and one-half inches per day for the next five days.

"This was just a temporary blip in the receding Rock River," said Phil Boutwell, Rock County's assistant administrator.

Boutwell suspected Monday's rains helped clean dirty grassy areas and streets.

Around the state, severe storms produced at least one tornado, toppled trees and power lines and seta condominium on fire with a lightning strike.

Benjamin Richter, 16-year-old boy of rural Watertown, died at 11:47 p.m. Monday after a lightning struck near Watertown, according to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

The National Weather Service said the emergency manager for Green Lake County concluded that a weak tornado caused damage that included a roof partially blown off a home southeast of Markesan.

At Pewaukee, a lightning strike started a fire that did $30,000 in damage to a condominium. No one was injured.

Material from Gazette wire services was used in this story.


To see more of The Janesville Gazette, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.gazetteextra.com.

Copyright (c) 2008, The Janesville Gazette, Wis.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.