WI Emergency Management: Flooding caused $8.3M in damage to infrastructure in Kenosha, Racine, Walworth
MADISON — Though this summer’s rains have caused extensive flooding in parts of Wisconsin, flooding has always been a part of life in the state because of its many rivers and lakes.
French settlers in Prairie du Chien made one of the first written records of flooding in the state in 1785, calling it “the year of great waters,” Wisconsin Public Radio reported (http://bit.ly/2tx6KNs). Several towns along the Mississippi River were completely submerged. It was the first of at least 40 major floods in that area.
Devastating flooding in 1880 halted railroad service in La Crosse when the Black and Mississippi rivers overflowed their banks. Wolf River’s rising level swept away bridges in Keshena, Belle Plaine and Shiocton.
The Fox Valley also saw its worst flooding in 1880. The Lewiston levee on the Wisconsin River broke, flooding the river and leaving Portage completely surrounded by water.
One of the state’s most disastrous floods was in 1884 in Chippewa Valley. The area received 14 inches of rain in 24 hours, and floodwaters swept away more than 400 million feet of logs from lumber yards, which knocked down everything in their path. At least 150 houses and 19 bridges in Eau Claire were washed away.
Wisconsin Emergency Management officials on Sunday, July 23rd offered an update on damage in SE Wisconsin, resulting from storms that led to severe flooding July 11th-12th:
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Kenosha County reports four businesses with major damage
Polk County had one business with major damage
Racine County had 16 businesses with minor damage and six businesses with major damage
Walworth County had 10 businesses with minor damage
Damage to public infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, etc.) – Total $8,449,689 million:
Chippewa County – $5,000
Jackson County – $18,000
Kenosha County – $1,707,010 million
Polk County – $42,000
Racine County – $3,930,679 million
Walworth County – $2,747,000 million
Meanwhile, Governor Scott Walker on Sunday toured flood damage in Grant County, in Cassville. According to Wisconsin Emergency Management officials, at least five homes were destroyed, 10 suffered major damage, and others were affected by the flooding Friday night into Saturday morning (July 21st-22nd). That flooding was triggered by up to 10 inches of rain which fell in a matter of hours. The governor also met with and thanked the first responders at the Cassville Fire Station, crediting their hard work with saving lives.
Governor Walker declared a State of Emergency for 17 Wisconsin counties due to flooding: Buffalo, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Pepin, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Trempealeau and Vernon Counties.
Below is an update on damage in SW WI as a result of July 19th-20th storms:
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The National Weather Service says another round of rain and possible storms is expected Tuesday starting in northwest Wisconsin, moving into the southern part of the state Wednesday into Thursday morning. Flood warnings remain in effect for the Baraboo, Rock, Pecatonica, Sugar, Turtle Creek, Kickapoo, Trempealeau and Fox Rivers.