Residents remember the 2012 flood

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This Sunday and Monday mark ten years since the historic flooding of 2012.

Barbara Aker has lived in the same house in the Fond Du Lac neighborhood since the late seventies. Like many, she remembers the flood like it was yesterday.

“Oh, it was memorable,” said Aker. “I woke up with a neighbor calling. What are we going to do? So I looked out the front window and the water was up to the house and it was really moving fast. I thought, I don’t really know what I’m going to do.”

Aker, her husband, and their neighbors suddenly found themselves trapped.

“We couldn’t leave because if you go over Highway 23, the road was washed out, and you couldn’t go up to Cook- the road was washed out. And going up the hill towards Gary, it was underwater,” recalled Aker. “So they had to get an airboat to come and get the people out. We just grabbed what we could, threw it in the bag and left on an airboat and couldn’t come back for days later.”

Barbara went to her son’s house in Superior while her husband stayed at the house.

“We didn’t know how high the water was going to go, it was really high,” Aker said. “My son came to check on him a couple of days later, but the only way he could get here to check in my husband was in the kayak.”

Aker came back to a basement full of water.

“I didn’t know where to begin,” she said. “Luckily, my son was here and he kind of thought like a triage I think. He went in a window, took some shrubs out, got into the basement, handed stuff out, put it at the end of the driveway, and you know, it was about a year trying to get things back to order.”

Even ten years later, remnants of the flood remain. Aker still finds things caked with mud.

“I never realized the power of a flood,” she said. “It moved the islands out in front of the house, changed the canal. I thought of floods as rising water, but I didn’t really understand the power of it until I was in it.”