LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — One Wisconsin town among the many dealing with frozen waterways and clogged drains because melted snow has no place to go has tried an explosive new approach: blowing up a creek.
Town of Onalaska officials hired an Iowa-based blaster to stick several hundred sticks of plastic explosives in the frozen Sand Lake Coulee Creek and blow it up on Friday.
“It was awesome,” said town chairman Rolly Bogert.
Officials turned to explosives because when it rained on Feb. 23, the water ran on the ice and was going around a dike that protects about a dozen homes. The town checked with law enforcement and wildlife experts, and the approach was determined to be legal.
Afterward, crews dug out the ice and created a channel for the water.
“I’ve been working here for 34 years,” said Dave Pericak, a Department of Natural Resources water field supervisor for northwest Wisconsin. “I’ve never had a request to do this before.”
In his 50 years in the business, Jerry McManigle, from Chickasaw County, Iowa, said he’s blown up barns, silos, foundations and the occasional beaver dam.
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