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Oconto County experiences road closures, school cancellations after flash floods overnight

Oconto County Flooding
Posted at 4:51 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 18:13:00-04

OCONTO COUNTY (NBC 26) — Oconto County experienced multiple road closures and school cancellations Friday due to flash floods that occurred overnight. Radar suggests the area received at least five inches of rain Thursday night, causing officials to spend the night directing traffic away from flooded roads.

"We came out in full force, the highway department came out and did their best, we had several local fire departments come out and assist as well," said Oconto County Emergency Management Director Jon Spice. “We try to put flashing lights, barrels, barricades all those types of things out to warn people it’s not safe to travel through certain areas.”

The Oconto County Sheriff's Office announced several road closures throughout the county, warning drivers to avoid the areas. Spice says three school districts canceled school Friday after being warned about dangerous road conditions due to the high water levels.

“We did recommend to the school districts because we were uncertain," Spice said. "We did have some issues were the roads were actually undermined underneath but from the top you couldn’t tell, so it looked like it was good road to drive on.”

Spice says there were multiple incidents where vehicles fell through the blacktop due to the flash floods. The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office made this post to Facebook, saying one of their deputies fell into flood water after driving over a culvert that gave out.

In addition, Friday the county’s Department of Health and Human Services warned residents not to use their water if they believe their well may have been contaminated by the flood water.

"If you believe your well may have been contaminated by flood water, do not use your water for cooking, drinking, bathing or handwashing. Use water from safe sources such as bottled water, tap water that you boiled for one minute, or water from a well that was not flooded," the department said in a press release.

Spice advises drivers to continue using caution as many roads still have dangerously high water levels.

“The biggest thing is if there’s water over the road, just please turn around," Spice said.