Municipal officials address flooding impact in their municipalities

Elected and municipal officials from Western Kenosha County towns and villages gave updates on their jurisdictions or emphasized information that has received less attention at a press conference in Silver Lake this afternoon.

Speaking were: Salem Lakes village President Diann Tesar, Paddock Lake village President Terry Burns, Salem Lakes Trustee William Hopkins, Brighton Chairman John Kiel, Bristol village administrator Randy Kerkman and state Rep. Samantha Kerkman.

Here is a round-up of some of their comments:

Salem Lakes village President Diann Tesar: She asked that there be no motorized boat use on local lakes. A slow no wake order is already in effect. She also pointed out that some people have gotten into trouble trying to navigate the swollen Fox River. “They need to stay off the river 100 percent,” she said. Tesar also urged people who have had flood water in their home to have it checked out by a professional before attempting to move back in or even start clean up. “You need to have them checked out by a professional,” Tesar said. “I know people want to go back into their homes and I don’t blame you.” She also praised work by all village workers to meet the challenges of last week’s flooding.

Paddock Lake village President Terry Burns: He said while several roads in the village were initially closed, all roads were open as of Friday. There has been some property damage to homes in the village, mostly due to sump pump failure due to no battery backup and power outages. He thanked county workers for their quick response to repairing a failure of Highway K, the village’s main northern border. “They did a wonderful job of doing that,” Burns said.

Salem Lakes village Trustee William Hopkins: He urged residents to check on elderly and disabled neighbors who may be dealing with flooding in their homes. He also reinforced other officials calls for not ignoring road barricades where streets are flooded or otherwise compromised for safe travel.

Brighton Chairman John Kiel: He reported that the town had an extra bulk pick-up at the dump site last weekend and will do so again this weekend. Most damage to homes in the town was from flooded basements. Some of the town’s 16 miles of roads also were damaged and they are being assessed for the need for repairs. Farmers in Brighton also have seen crop loss. “We have considerable low spots within our farm land,” Kiel said. “There will be some loss there.”

Bristol village administrator Randy Kerkman:  He reported that all major roads within the village are now open again. When they were closed, getting around the village was made more difficult because of the ongoing rebuilding of Highway 45. The main area where there has been “substantial flooding” was in the Lake George area, which typically floods in major storms, but was more effected this time.
all roads open.

State Rep. Samantha Kerkman:  She gave an update on a tour of the area with various officials from state, local, county government and other agencies, including an update on the status of the Highway 50 closure, which we reported on separately here.

You can watch the press conference here (via Kenosha County government):



  1. someone is not learning says:

    Just how many times and how many meetings will it take to make the correction at the Fox River Bridge on 50. The Bridge and the Road. Both have been issues for Years. The bridge is too low. The road is too low. W North at this location an at the curve is too low.
    They are problems with most storms. Problems in 2009 with the last big flood. Problems when there was a tornado.
    Problems. Problems. Problems and
    we all know that SOMEONE but the kibash on raising 50 at that spot and putting an extra 2 feet on that bridge.

    We don’t hear the name but there is a name and it is about time that the correction is made and fix the mess that that single decision has created for us all.

    I am writing here and people are aggravated at wondering how they will get to their jobs and homes but we all know that as soon as everything is dried up, it will be pushed aside – again – until another Mother Nature go round.

    50 is a state road. Only one entity is responsible for it. Has been responsible for it. Time to get it corrected. We will be watching

  2. Sam. It's your turn. says:

    It’s your turn to go to Madison and get the big money for your district. Whatever it takes to raise this bridge once and for all.

    Or your tenure will be ‘water under the bridge’. Get to it.

  3. American tax payer says:

    So because some people are too stupid to read the road closed sings and follow the detour Wisconsin should build the road higher and flood MORE homes and businesses in the area?
    Call the DNR and see if they will allow it.
    Wetlands Can’t be filled in!

  4. Julie says:

    Lake George did not always flood. Builders were allowed to come in and build on nature a rention areas, thus filling them in. Pushing the water in other directions. Existing homes & land that did not have any issues prior do now. People who causiously checked to make sure the home they were buying was safe to raise a family in are now at a loss. Unfortunately, Without proper engineering this is what happens. We have yet to see a village board member or public works management come assess the actual flooding. One week post flood the water is still over the road. The water is not moving. Dead birds have been found. This is the water we will be getting from our well. There is no sign saying “High Standing Water”. The road appears to be sinking. I have faith that there is something more that can be done. We, the residents did not cause such issues here at Lake George. We just have to live with choices and changes that were made. We are at a loss.

  5. Residents of Lake George says:

    Residents of Lake George get your wells tested!!! DO NOT WADE or LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY in the Water!!!!!
    The Village has pumped sewage into the “swap area” owned by the DNR. That sewage is now floating around in your yards.
    YES that is what you smell!
    The village has told the residents that we need to just allow the water to recede on its own!!!!
    The Lakes around here are tested for e-Coli why isn’t the water sitting and surrounding my neighbor hood being tested! It’s becomes our drinking water.
    The best part, they have NO PLANs to come and clean it up or even bleach the water!!!


    I have never used social media. But when I heard this evening the village officials of Bristol knowingly dumped who knows how many gallons of raw sewage into our already flooded yards I was beyond mad, I was concerned wondering what type of people decide to treat other humans like trash and dump feces onto their property and not have enough respect to even tell them? I actually understand their reasons behind why they did this, but to not tell us is beyond deceptive and again shows zero respect for human life. We have children and animals and yet not one warning of dumping sewage in the water still standing around our properties. Not one warning to not drink our water. Not one plan to clean up the raw sewage the town of Bristol just dumped into our yard. I have lived here since 1991, we have been good with the community and yet we get treated With no respect. Again what type of person decides to not help people begging for their help? For all the negative people out there thinking I am not smart enough to understand flood plain let me explain that I have been in the trades for 28 years building all over the U.S. and the flood map was changed 11 years after we purchased our home and land. Bristol Board you should be ashamed of your behavior and failure to treat people equal and like humans. Come clean the feces you just put in our yards north of Lake George. Your behavior is a complete disgrace to the community so please go look in the mirror and ask yourselves why are you treating other humans so poorly? Then look up the definition of empathy. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  7. Builders were allowed!! says:

    That’s exactly right. Allowed!!

    Floodplains, wetlands, “make up” wetlands. All things that developers and corporations are allowed to build and purchase in other locations to make up for the ones that they fill in here are all that’s wrong with building in low land.

    Low land should be used for water retention and farming for any farmer who’s willing to risk his crops year after year. Yet in search of a higher tax revenue villages and towns have allowed developers to build home after home after home closer and closer to the water.
    And then new people come along years later and figure that if the home is there it must be OK to buy and live in. But the old timers know. But they won’t say. They just laugh.

    So tear down those $200,000. homes and give the land back to the water.

    Yeh. When pigs fly.

  8. Higher road. says:

    Building the bridge and road higher will not flood more land. Just by virtue of the water going under the bridge puts water on both sides of that road. It’s simple logic.

    What floods more land is building homes in low land places.
    Stop allowing building in low land.

    So when the existing homes which are on the water then become more rare and are more expensive they will come with a higher tax bill. So building less homes you will get more tax revenue. How about that logic?

  9. Builders and Board of Adjustments says:

    Attend a Board of Adjustment meeting. If a property comes up to be built on, the board will say that they cannot prevent people from building on property that was once considered buildable. May not be buildable now, but it was then and so is the rub. They should be making the condition of building that they MUST carry Flood Insurance and that they will hold all municipalities involved harmless. And of course, the condition that they cant get flood insurance that the structures are removed. Yes, decisions are tough but why should from now until forever, others be duped into buying a property that is known to be a flood prone property.

    Board of Adjustments is not alone in this. Each Planning and Zoning body is turning a blind eye and also County Board. They just dont want to be sued for not letting people build. Time for them all to toss the ball back into the owner’s court.

  10. American Taxpayer is not aware says:

    American Taxpayer is not aware. Clearly, the water is going under the bridge tho it should be a bit higher. The area of the flooding is NOT IN A WETLAND as inferred (RME). The road on the east side of the bridge at the intersection of North CTH W is lo. Too Low and it is a known flood hazard in simple rains, not just major floods. American Taxpayer? All talk and no fact.

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