Greens, Neighbors Hit Hard in Cross Plains

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MTT News's picture
Michelle Phillips
Jimi Green of Cross Plains cleans up debris from inside his family's hone on Aug. 26. He and his wife Jodi are waiting for a building inspector to tell then if their house is she to live in; Adam Green points out damage in the family kitchen.

CROSS PLAINS–Thunder clapped, lighting lit up the sky and water rose quickly on Brewery Rd. in Cross Plains, as residents were evacuated by the fire department on the night of Aug. 20.

Jodi Green said she noticed the water rising in the street around 5:30, but since her house had never flooded, she wasn’t too concerned. The Cross Plains Fire Department evacuated the Green house at 7:40 p.m. “When the fire department came, they told me to leave my three dogs. My friend Melissa (Murphy) risked her life to go get them later,” said Jodi.

“I was hanging on to the railing, trying not to get swept away by the current,” recalled Melissa. Once in the house she let out the dogs and a neighbor took them in to their garage until she could come back for them.

Neighbors Janet Gray and Kathy Acker, who live side by side at 2909 and 2915 Brewery Rd. and were evacuated at around 2 a.m., felt the same way when they saw water rising in the road. “We have the creek right behind our house and I would have expected it to come from there if it flooded,” said Kathy, who has lived in her home for 38 years, as has Janet, and never experienced a flood.

First, sewage started pouring into their basements. Next water broke doors and windows gushing into basements and finally seeped under doors filling the living spaces upstairs and garages. 

At one point, Jodi said she saw something moving down the flooded street, and realized, “That’s our camper! It hit a car down there,” she said, pointing at the intersection. “The village brought it back.” The camper is now parked down the street from her home at 2914 Brewery Rd.

“It was like a raging river running parallel to the creek, and it went right down the road,” Jimi described. 

In the Green home everything was ruined, and a giant dumpster was inadequate in handling all of the trash that once made up their lives. Piles of furniture, paneling, carpet, clothes, toys and everything else imaginable was piled on the curb in front of the Greens’, with similar piles lining many of the streets in Cross Plains. 

“We’ve got about everything out of the house,” said Jimi Green, Jodi’s husband. “We lost all of the contents of the house.”

“Now we are just waiting for the building inspector to tell us if it’s condemned,” added Jodi. 

The Greens and their five kids, Jasmin, Jordan, Jaelyn, Jocelyn and Adam, have been staying with Melissa’s family. “We went from a family of five, to a family of twelve overnight,” Melissa joked. 

Inside the house, everything in the basement is gone with the exception of a few 2x4 studs. Upstairs water came in through the patio door and several inches were standing inside. All of the flooring has been removed and Jimi was planning on moisture testing the walls to see if water got into the insulation.

Across the street Janet and Kathy had flooding in their basements, and found out there was no financial help, as did the Green family, who have a go fund me page.

 “Someone from Red Cross told me I have minor damage,” said Janet. “Does this look like minor damage?” She asked, gesturing toward the large pile of items on the curb, then her missing garage door.

“He told me even if FEMA got involved they probably wouldn’t help me because of my minor damage. I guess you have to lose everything like the Greens.” 

The sad reality is, unless there is a National Disaster Declaration by Pres. Donald Trump, no one will get financial assistance from the government. FEMA is not deployed to assist in disasters without a national declaration.

The Red Cross, Salvation Army and Dane County Emergency Management have all been around to collect damage reports, deliver food and water and offer clean-up and toiletry kits. Residents said they had not seen representatives from the Village of Cross Plains. “I can’t imagine how bombarded everyone is, but ‘how are you doing?’, ‘sorry for your damage’ goes a long way,” said Kathy.

Volunteers, many organized by village leaders were out in force to help with the clean-up, and those with flood damage got help from family and friends as well. People came from all over the area to help. 

“One guy, and elderly man, drove here from Windsor and asked how he could help. He had seen me on the news and just drove down here. It turns out he is an insurance agent and he gave us some advice,” said Jimi. None of the residents that we talked to had flood insurance because they are not considered to be in a flood plain. 

The Green children help with the clean-up at their home and Adam said he skipped football practice last week to help his family with the flood mess. 

Adam reflected on the damage to their home, “It’s not good, but other people have it worse, so I try to think of it that way.”

“I feel like I got punched in the gut,” Jimi added. 

Jimi, Jodi, Kathy and Janet all agree that the magnitude of the flooding hasn’t really hit them yet. 

“We haven’t had any down time to even let it sink in,” Jodi concluded. 

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