Current Flooding Conditions and Clean-Up Measures in Rock County

ROCK COUNTY (WIFR) -- The Rock County Sheriff’s Office recognizes that while the water levels on the Rock River are declining, questions remain about current road closures and sandbag disposal. At this time, residents of Rock County will be responsible for their own sandbag disposal efforts. Residents in need of assistance with sandbag removal can contact the Rock County Sheriff’s Office – Emergency Management division for further instruction at 608-758-8440.

At this time, the following areas are being monitored by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and 911 Communications Center for continued flooding concerns:

  • Mallwood Estates – Lake Shore Drive and adjacent roads

    Current water levels on the Rock River are as follows:

  • Rock River in Afton area – Currently at 8.5 feet – No longer within flood stage
  • Rock River at Lake Koshkonong – Currently at 9.4 feet – No longer within flood stage
  • Rock River in Newville area – Currently at 5.6 feet – No longer within flood stage
  • Turtle Creek in Clinton – Currently at 4.0 feet and well below flood stages at this time
  • Turtle Creek at Beloit – Currently at 5.4 feet and well below flood stages at this time
  • Sugar River at Brodhead - Currently at 1.9 feet and well below flood stages at this time

    Sandbag Disposal Guidelines –

    From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (April 18, 2013)

    • DISPOSAL OF SAND FROM SANDBAGS: Any disposal that involves removing the sand from the sandbags and properly disposing of the bags and placing the sand in an area where fill placement is not prohibited by other DNR codes or statutes or any other codes or statutes would be exempt from DNR waste and materials management codes or stats (landfills, recycling, or reusing).

    o Fully biodegradable (jute, burlap, or other biodegradable) sandbags are exempt under NR 500.08 (2) and can be disposed of as stated above.

    o Sand cannot be placed in prohibited areas including within the floodplain or any wetlands. Sand cannot be placed along the shore of the Rock River.

    • REUSING SAND FROM SANDBAGS: Caution should be used when reusing sand from used sandbags because sand that came in contact with flood waters may contain more bacteria than normal soil. Placement in playgrounds, sandboxes, or other areas of direct human contact soon after placement should be avoided. Bacteria will dissipate with time and exposure to the elements. Sand could be stockpiled and used for winter road sand, fill, concrete or mortar sand, or other uses.

    • DISPOSAL OF NON-DEGRADABLE SANDBAGS: If the bags are plastic or non-degradable, a one time disposal written approval from DNR would be needed prior to disposal at a place other than a municipal solid waste landfill or construction and demolition landfill. Another option would be to dispose of the full bags at a municipal solid waste landfill or a construction and demolition landfill. Please contact the landfill in advance to make sure they will accept the sandbags and to obtain cost estimates for disposal.

    o The City of Janesville landfill is open to all Rock County residents for sandbag disposal. The charge will depend on the size of the vehicle, ranging from $4.00 to $12.00 per load. Janesville residents will not be charged for sandbag disposal (identification verifying residency may be required).

    o Please call the City of Janesville General Services at 608-755-3110 with any questions or visit http://www.ci.janesville.wi.us/index.aspx?page=392 for more information.

    • REUSING FULL SANDBAGS FROM FLOODING INCIDENTS: Full sandbags of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable material may be reused at other flood sites and may be reused to construct permanent earthen structures. It is best to avoid using the bags to build things that are inherently unstable or erodible. Also, if the sandbags would be re-used in or near a different water body, be aware that they may transfer invasive species or fish diseases. It is best not to move sandbags from one body of water to another. In these cases, the bags are not considered a waste if they are reused in a legitimate project within a reasonable time and are not stockpiled for a long period of time prior to use.

    • HEALTH ADVISORY: Citizens who may be handling sandbags are reminded that exposure to flood waters can create health concerns and they should make sure to be current on the tetanus vaccine if they are in contact with flood waters.

    Please continue to report any hazardous conditions related to the flooding to Rock County Communications at 608-757-2244. All other concerns related to the current flood recovery efforts should be reported to the respective townships or through the Rock County Sheriff’s Office – Emergency Management Division at 608-758-8440.


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