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Lake Delton debris removed from Wisconsin River

About 120 tons of debris that got flushed away with Lake Delton in June have been removed from the Wisconsin River downstream.

Matt Frank, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources secretary, says a 20-mile stretch of the river is now safe for navigation.

The Living Lands and Waters group of East Moline, Ill., got a $77,000 contract to remove about 90 piles of debris, most of it from the five houses that were destroyed or damaged.

But the non-profit group actually picked up 20 more piles than expected, and they did it faster than originally planned.

It took 24 days, and the group said more than 30 volunteers spent three or more days helping out with the cleanup.

Seven-thousand pounds of building materials have been recycled along with more than 630 pounds of metal that were removed.

Heavy rains created a channel where the 267-acre Lake Delton flowed into the river, sending the homes and other things with it.

Because there was more debris than expected, the removal cost rose by about $15,000. The federal government is being asked to cover three-fourths of the tab.

The state would pick up half of the remaining bill, with local communities paying the rest.