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Burlington Flood of 2017
Incident Updates
 July 13, 2017
(9:45 am)
 July 14, 2017
(7:15 pm)
 July 17, 2017
(10:45 am)
 July 19, 2017
(10:00 am)
 July 14, 2017
(2:30 pm)
 July 15, 2017
(10:45 am)
 July 18, 2017
(11:00 am)
 July 20, 2017
(4:00 pm)

Press Releases
View press releases here

General Information

The City of Burlington experienced a massive flood that affected most of the municipality and surrounding communities. The Fox River crested the morning of July 13 at its highest historical level of 16.5 feet and began to slowly recede. The level of the river dipped below major flood stage to 13.08 feet on Saturday, July 15.

Echo Lake Dam
Echo Lake Dam was opened approximately 1.5 inches at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 14.  The dam gates will be completely open by end of day Wednesday, July 19. The Department of Natural Resources Dam Inspection crew have been conducting checks to monitor this process and the condition of the dam.

This action was ordered to relieve pressure on the structural concrete and the earth embankments. The concrete is holding, however the earth embankment on both sides of the river is eroding. The opening of the dam will draw down Echo Lake. The slow, incremental opening of the dam should keep the fluctuation of the water levels down river to a minimum.

The draining of the lake will allow for a complete inspection of the dam, which will determine the safety of the dam and future improvements to the waterway. We know this is of great interest to the community. We will have more information for you as soon as possible.

We Energies completed repairs to the substation ahead of schedule with the assistance of over 50 employees.

Power was restored to the city as of Saturday, July 15.

Over 4400 residents of the City of Burlington and Waterford area were without power and telephone service for a few days. We Energies announced the Waterford area power was restored by noon July 13. The company worked diligently to restore power to the Burlington area, and completed part of the city on Friday, July 14 with the remaining Saturday, July 15.

Gas and Electric Service
As residents re-enter their homes, concerns regarding electric or gas utilities should be directed to We Energies at 800-242-9137. For additional information from We Energies about flood related concerns see the WeEnergies website.

National Guard
Over 80 members of the National Guard were deployed in the City of Burlington and assisted in emergency efforts, including monitoring traffic at the several streets and bridges that remain closed. The Guard and Racine County Human Services staff conducted health and well visits to the elderly, homebound, and vulnerable adults in the Burlington area. On July 15, the National Guard was released of duty in the city to enable them to assist other communities in need.

Most roads and all bridges, except the Jefferson Street bridge, are open. As the flood water continues to recede, access to all roads will improve.

Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC)
A Multi-Agency Resource Center was held on Tuesday, July 18 in Burlington at the Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway to provide an efficient method to deliver services to individuals and families affected by a disaster by bringing together multiple service providers in a single location and providing on-site assistance. This include replacement of government documents, replacement of benefits, and other relief services that may be offered by governmental or non-governmental agencies.

Disaster Recovery Services Available to Flood Victims

To access disaster recovery resources, contact the agencies listed below. In the event of a life-threating situation, call 911:

  • American Red Cross Emergency Response Line – 414.345.8678 (water, shelter and meals)
  • Wisconsin Kenosha Racine Partnership – 888.794.5820 (FoodShare/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • Unemployment Insurance (unemployment benefits for those who lost work due to floods and power outages)
  • Bureau of Consumer Protection (contractor fraud check) - (800) 422-7128 or
  • Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (insurance inquiries) – (800) 236-8517 or

Health & Wellness
Central Racine County Health Department advises that extreme caution should be taken with food and private well water. They shared the following food and well water safety tips:

Food Safety During a Power Outage
  • The biggest food safety concern is the condition of Potentially Hazardous Food (PHF) such as meats, eggs, milk, cooked vegetables, cut melons, cut tomatoes and cut leafy greens.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Add bags of ice or dry ice to the freezers and coolers.
  • When power is restored check the internal food temperatures. If above 41°F food should be discarded.
  • If there are any questions regarding the safety of specific foods, contact the Central Racine County Health Department.
  • When In Doubt, Throw It Out!

Well Water Safety
  • Private well owners with wells located in a flooded area should not consume the water without boiling it first.
  • After the flood waters have receded, wells should be chlorinated and then tested for contamination.
  • Whenever you notice a change in water quality, or anytime there's been flooding near your well, have your well tested for bacteria contamination. Until the test results are known, follow these procedures to ensure safe drinking water:
    • Drink bottled water or water from a known, safe source.
    • If necessary, you can make water safe to drink by boiling it for five minutes.
  • When in doubt, if the water is CLOUDY, ODOROUS, OR COLORED - DO NOT DRINK THE WATER!
  • Further information can be found on the CRCHD site
  • Free well water test kits available at the following locations:
    • Town of Waterford Town Hall
    • Town of Burlington Town Hall
    • Town of Yorkville Town Hall
    • Town of Dover Town Hall
    • Central Racine County Health Department
    • Burlington Wastewater Treatment Plant

Debris Removal and Mitigation
The City of Burlington has arranged for special curb-side pick-up services with John’s Disposal to assist residents in disposing of flood damaged items.

Special curb-side pick-up services will begin on Monday, July 17th and run through Friday, July 28th. John’s Disposal will have multiple trucks conducting the special pick-up, as well as maintain regular service for all residents. Residents should put their regular garbage out on their regularly scheduled day. Residents with flood damaged items may place items out daily. We ask residents with non-flood related large bulk items to hold off on disposal from July 17th – 28th to accommodate the special pickup from homes impacted by the flood.

Residents participating in this special pick-up service should follow these preparation steps for the disposal of damaged items: • Debris must be contained in cans or bags not exceeding 33-gallons in size and no heavier than 45 lbs. each. • Debris may be bundled; however, cannot exceed 45 lbs. in weight and 4 feet in length and no wider than 2 feet in diameter. • Carpeting must be rolled, taped, or tied. Carpet, after being rolled and tied, should be no longer than 4 feet in length and no wider than 2 feet in diameter and weigh no more than 45 lbs. each. • Larger items such as damaged furniture may be placed at the curb adjacent to garbage/recycle containers • Empty contents and remove refrigerator/freezer doors for safety purposes.

View FEMA Debris Removal Guidelines

Sludge From Basements
Sludge from basements can be placed in cans for disposal and pick up by City crews.  Cans must weigh less than 50 pounds in order be collected. Please call Public Works at (262) 539-3646 to provide your address if you need a can pick up.

Department of Health Services Flood Toolkit:

Damage Assessment

Assessment Teams are in the area on golf carts and will be initially assessing homes with visible damage around the flood damaged areas. Assessments of property damage are being conducted to identify the assessment loss in the city in an effort to compile data to apply for local and state funding to potentially assist homeowners.To have an internal assessment of your property, please call 763-7842.

Sand bag Disposal
Johns Disposal will collect sandbags that are 40 pounds and under for residential properties. Please place the bags curbside where you would place your normal garbage. Commercial properties should call their contracted garbage collection company for disposal options.

Health and Safety Advisory:
Because of the possibility of contamination and the health and environmental risks they pose, sand from sandbags should never be used in sandboxes, playgrounds, or other areas where it will be on the ground surface or directly in contact with people.

Building Repair
As homeowners begin the process of flood remediation and repair, it is required that a building permit is submitted for work such as electrical, gas, furnace, air conditioning, plumbing, demolition, and structural work. Please keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive.

The City has offered to waive all permit fees for flood victims who are repairing damage to their homes as a result of the flood. You may complete the building permit form electronically and submit it to: document.write('cityofburlingtoninspector'+'@'+'')" target="_self" class="Hyperlink" originalattribute="href" originalpath="e-mail">. The building permit can be found on the City’s website under the Building Inspector page . In order to qualify for this waiver, you must list the project type AND “Flood repair” in the Project Description section at the top of the application.

The City Building Department is currently working to put together a team of licensed inspectors to handle the hundreds of inspections that will be required to get residents back in their homes and back to normal. Please allow time for inquiries, we are working as quickly as possible to respond to many residents and businesses that have been affected by the devastating flood. The City is also working to get our phone lines back up and running. We appreciate your patience during this process.

As you begin the process of hiring contractors to remediation the damage to your home, please read these important tips on contractor fraud to protect yourself: Tips on Avoiding Contractor Fraud

City Hall Open
City Hall reopened at 10 am on July 19 with very limited services.

City Hall, the Police Station and the Department of Public Works experienced electronic infrastructure damage Departments within City Hall include Administration, Finance, City Clerk, Building Inspection, Municipal Court and County services (County Clerk, Register of Deeds and County Treasurer). Please note, we do not have email, phones, voice mail, internet or stored electronic documents and cannot respond to requests. We apologize for this inconvenience during this critical time and are working to reopen as quickly as possible.

If you need assistance for County services please call:

  • County Clerk: 262.636.3121 (if you have a marriage license waiting for you at City Hall we will contact you)
  • County Treasurer: 262.636.3239 (we cannot take July tax payments until we reopen)
  • Register of Deeds: 262-636-3208

If you need assistance for City Services:

  • Police Department  non-emergency: 758-1875 or 763-9558
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant and Public Works: (262) 539-3646
  • Fire Department non-emergency: 763-7842
  • Burlington Public Library: (262) 342-6535

  • Municipal Court: If you had a court hearing this week, the Municipal Court Clerk will send you a new court date as soon as we are back online.

  • All other services (City Hall): We are continually working to get a phone line reinstalled for you to contact. Thank you for your patience!

This web page will be updated as new information and/or resources become available.