Skip to Content

‘Now I’m sick of water’: Flooding nightmares continue on Pigeon Lake

DRUMMOND, WI — The town of Drummond is still feeling the impacts of last year’s dramatic flooding, especially on Pigeon Lake, where Bayfield County officials say little can be done, causing the issue to heighten.

84-year-old John Olstad has lived in a house on Pigeon lake for more than three decades. He says the flooding there has gotten uncontrollable in the last year, making his home unlivable.

“I loved that lake, and now I’m sick of water,” Olstad said. “We go over there everyday and check on it, and I don’t even want to see water … It’s bad.”

Last June, more than 18 inches of rain drowned the town of Drummond, sending shock throughout the community.

“10 years ago, the west end of the lake was dry, so now it doesn’t seem possible that it would come up that much, but it’s so,” Olstad said.

Olstad’s home was left a disaster, and he was displaced elsewhere.

“Even though I’m living with my daughter, I would rather be there,” Olstad said. “That’s my home.”

With water levels continuing to rise, Olstad says he and his neighbors are in need of help.

“I’ve called everybody in the world — in the area — and nobody responds,” Olstad said. “They can’t help us or they’re out of the area.”

Bayfield County officials say they are aware of the issue. They applied for grant money to fix the issue, but got denied.

“There is help out there, but so far we haven’t been able to get it,” Olstad said.

The county calls it a tragedy for those on Pigeon Lake.

“I’m hoping that we get some help so the people can go back to a normal way of living on the lake, and that’s all I’m asking for,” Olstad said.

Bayfield County officials say water has receded in other places that have experienced dramatic flooding, but, for now, there’s not much they can do about Pigeon Lake.

Gamiel Hall

Skip to content