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Bloomington officials discuss flooding cleanup after storms

Bloomington cleanup
Posted at 8:08 PM, Jun 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-20 17:33:09-04

BLOOMINGTON — After heavy rains and flash flooding overnight Friday, Bloomington residents spent Saturday working on a massive cleanup.

Officials say emergency responders assisted in at least 17 water rescues, and Bloomington Fire had 60 calls - more than half of those were between 9:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

"Many of the things that we saw overnight were probably emergencies that happened very, very quickly and this morning we're kind of cleaning things up," Deputy Chief Jayme Washel with the Bloomington Fire Department said.

Fire headquarters flooded overnight. Washel says there were about three feet of water in the basement.

"We've got a strong team: we got our police department, our fire department, city works, we got everybody working together and a strong community. You see a lot of people out here helping each other out and that's kind of what Bloomington is all about," Deputy Mayor Don Griffin said.

"You've heard the stories right of the raging river on Kirkwood? It was probably 3-3.5 feet high across the road," Five Guys franchise owner Paul Gillard said.

The owner of Ritz Hair Studio, Trevor Werner, also spent Saturday morning drying out.

"All the capes, they're just soaked ... having something that you put your whole heart and soul into, it just is like 'what do i do from here?' but we can only go forward and move forward," Werner said.

Griffin says he's only seen one other flood like this in the city before more than a decade ago.

“It's bad but then you also have to look at the good that's happening here. We're going to rebuild and we'll be better," he said.

An Ohio family and a friend were camping in Brown County when heavy rains forced them to evacuate to a Bloomington hotel.

Hours later they returned to find their tent flattened, camper canopy stuck in the trees and their belongings soaked.

"We can't change it, so we just gotta deal with it. Mother Nature wins, every time," Denice Krakowski said.