Bailey Lake in Chetek overflowing its banks, entering homes - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bailey Lake in Chetek overflowing its banks, entering homes

Eau Claire (WQOW) - Homeowners in Chetek are getting a closer look at Bailey Lake then they'd like. Water is overflowing its banks thanks to a tremendous amount of rainfall that has hit the area in recent weeks. Some of that water has made its way into homes along the lake.

"You can see the water has come up to the road here, so you've got to keep a drain open," said Chris Ritchie of Chetek.

Ritchie has lived in Chetek for 35 years. He says this is the first time he has seen Bailey Lake leeching so far over its banks.

"It wasn't more than a few more good rains and it was up just barely touching this patio," Ritchie said.

The news 18 Stormtracker weather team says Chetek has seen nearly 12 inches of rainfall from May 1st until June 10th. That's nearly double the average.

"By later on Saturday there was an inch of water pretty much on the entire floor in both sides of this duplex," Ritchie explained.

With waters still rising outside his mother in law's home, Richie took action.

"It was coming in pretty quick, and there was nothing we could do at that time, so we just kind of got my mother in law out of here and she came to stay with us, and she's still staying with us," said Ritchie.

In the days since, Chris has been back, monitoring damage at the duplex.

"We started doing some cleanup, you know shop-vac, and fans, and pushing it out with push brooms and all that stuff. People have been tearing carpet out of their basements down the road here. I heard there were five places that were experiencing flooding," Ritchie said.

For the time being, furniture in the house is up on blocks, and rugs are left to dry in the garage. Chetek's public works department has been opening a trench to allow some water to drain.

That water ends up in a city retention pond. But it's just a temporary fix that will have to do for now.

"There's no sense trying to do things like get the carpeting and start moving back in until the water is safely away from the building."

Chetek's mayor says the city has been working with the DNR to find a long term fix for overflowing water in that area. He also says he believes homeowners will be left to pay for the damages. Chris Ritchie told us that having a crew come to remove carpets and clean up came with a price tag of about $3,000.

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