Residents of Bloomer reported up to 6.9 inches of rain overnight Monday, June 29. Bloomer Street Department manager Tony Burgess said that the rain came down so hard and the lake level rose so quickly that the automated system that operates the gates on the dam went directly to stage two. In stage one the first gate opens incrementally over a period of time until fully open then, if the water keeps rising, the second stage is to open the second gate. Because the water rose so quickly the first gate didn’t open automatically and Burgess had to open it manually. He said the directive from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is that you always protect the dam and levy first, so with the gates fully open Duncan Creek filled up quickly down stream, overflowing its banks and flooding Willis Park, above, and Bloomer Tire’s lot, below. With the creek full and overflowing, the storm sewers can’t empty quickly enough and water backs up and comes out the manhole on 17th Avenue (and elsewhere) causing 17th Avenue to flood by Dairy Queen and traffic to be re-routed, second photo below.
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