Aug 20, 2019

Wisconsin Floods Sparks County's Preparation

2018 flood caused more than $154 million in damage & dropped 15 in. of rain

2018 flood caused more than $154 million in damage & dropped 15 in. of rain

Dane County, Wis., residents are still feeling the effects of flooding in 2018. 

According to WMTV, the impact on the county’s groundwater caused additional losses in agricultural production this year and also brought water into residents’’ basements. 

The flood caused more than $154 million in damage and dropped 15 in. of rain, according to Channel 3000. The county added more than $18 million to help with future groundwater flooding impacts. 

“Because of the extreme rains last August, we finished 2018 with almost 18 more inches of precipitation than we typically see,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, according to WMTV. “The ground and surface water can take a certain amount of that runoff before the sponge gets saturated and the result is the standing water we saw in tens of thousands of acres of some of the most productive farmland in the state.”

Parisi said nearly one of every 10 acres of cropland in the county went unplanted in spring 2019. According to Channel 3000, Parsi does not think there are any options to help fix groundwater flooding. 

“So that groundwater situation is a challenge and again, there is nothing that any of us can do about that. It’s just a function of all of the rain we get," Parisi said to Channel 3000

However, since the 2018 flood, Dane County made multiple strides toward more efficient flood control. The county acquired 160 acres of land in the Lake Mendota Watershed, according to WMTV

Parisi said this will help prevent 5 million gal of storm water runoff. The county has also developed a five phase plan to remove sediment from area lakes and the Yahara River; purchased additional sand bagging machines; added weed cutters and barges to remove debris from the water; ordered a new sheriff’s air rescue boat; created a $1 million county fund for rebuilding costs; and invested more than $1 million in converting flood prone land.