BLACK EARTH, Wis. (WMTV) -- A family in Black Earth is taking measures to protect their home against potential flooding after having to completely renovate their garage and basement when feet of water swept through in August.
Charlie and Laurie Breitzke have lived in their home on the east side of Black Earth for nearly 30 years. Their home is separated from the Black Earth Creek by a field. On Wednesday afternoon, Charlie and Laurie, with help from a friend, stacked sandbags wrapped in plastic around their garage.
In summer 2018, the Breitzkes said that the water from the creek overflowed, coming through the field and filling their garage with about six feet of water.
"We had about four to five layers of sandbags, pushed it over," Charlie Breitzke said. "Went into my basement, garage, flushed everything out and it went down the street."
Breitzke said he recalls watching the spare tires from his boat hitch floating down the street. About seven months later, he is now putting the finishing touches on his garage.
“Just got done finishing the basement, getting everything replaced, and now it’s possibly going to happen again, all spring," Charlie said. "So I probably later on will get more sandbags and I’ll probably leave them up until summer. It’s the only thing I can hope for.”
Because of the high level of water, Charlie said his electrical box and other appliances had to be replaced. During that time, he said his fellow communities members were there to help.
"People you never knew would come over and say if you need to use our house, need to use anything, let me know," he said. "If it weren't for them, then I don't know, would have been tougher, that whole two weeks."
While public works in Black Earth says they are not expecting the same situation as they saw this summer, the Breitzkes are not taking their chances.
"I'm sick to my stomach," said Charlie. "Too much on me, I can't take it."
Charlie said he will set his alarm every hour through the night to watch the water. In the meantime, he will wait, and says it's better safe than sorry.
"Towns pull through," he said. "People pull through."