Southwest Wisconsin was hit by as much as nearly 8 inches of rain in some areas between Friday and Sunday, flooding roads and houses, and washing out rural roads and bridges.
More rain and possible flooding was anticipated for this week, after a reported 3 inches of rain fell in Cassville and 1.51 inches of rain fell in Platteville Monday overnight.
According to the National Weather Service La Crosse office, rainfall amounts between Friday night and Sunday morning included 7.87 inches near Dodgeville, 7.77 inches near Lynxville, 7.5 inches near Prairie du Chien, 7.09 inches near Soldiers Grove, 5.65 inches southeast of Richland Center, 5.43 inches near Cassville, and 4.79 inches in Richland Center.
The damage was caused by the combination of the heavy rains that hit after midnight Friday and the heavy rains that followed Saturday night. The Grant County Sheriff’s Department reported Saturday morning that most streets in Boscobel were closed and flooded. The Grant County Tech Rescue team was dispatched to Boscobel Saturday morning to assist in evacuating residents from their flooded homes. Ten area fire departments assisted in Boscobel, according to county Emergency Management director Steve Braun.
Between 200 and 300 feet of the Southern Wisconsin Railroad tracks were washed out west of Blue River, Braun said Saturday. Additional damage was reported in Woodman, Mount Hope, Patch Grove and Blue River and the surrounding towns.
The most briefly harrowing news was the status of about 46 canoeists taking a trip on the Wisconsin River through Wisconsin River Outings of Boscobel. The canoeists were found safe around 9:30 Saturday morning.
On Boscobel’s south side, the entrance to Kronshage Park was underwater, and the parking lot at Fillback GM across U.S. 61 had standing water.
In Fennimore, one person reported water damage to city officials, according to Director of Public Works Dennis Biddick. Officials have heard of other water damage to residences, but no one has yet to come forward, Biddick said.
Then came Saturday night’s rains, which dumped up to 5 inches more rain in some areas.
At one point, Crawford County appeared to have more closed roads than open roads, and most major highways in northern Grant County were closed. Fire departments from throughout Grant County were asked to send trucks and manpower to the Boscobel and Fennimore areas Saturday night to assist law enforcement in closing highways.
Emergency responders were called to Grant County S east of Boscobel for stranded motorists, and other emergency responders evacuated Boscobel residents for the second time that day.
Braun estimated more than $2.3 million in damages to public facilities in northern Grant County, including $500,000 of damage in the Town of Wyalusing, $325,000 in the Town of Castle Rock, $300,000 in the Town of Boscobel, $200,000 in the Town of Marion, $180,000 in the Town of Woodman, and $100,000 in the Town of Watterstown.
The effects of the rains continued into this week. A landslide Monday closed U.S. 61 north of Boscobel, with the road not expected to open until later this week. U.S. 61 had been closed earlier because of a mudslide. Grant County S is closed, and Grant County M is limited to one lane between County T and County G. Grant County C from Wisconsin 133 to U.S. 18 is closed.
The list of Grant County roads closed because of washed-out road surfaces, bridges or culverts includes Old C Road east of Studenburg Road in Watterstown; Bowers Road in the Town of Wingville; Riley Road in Marion; Shady Hollow Road in the Town of Woodman; Johnson Road, Murley Road and Sleepy Hollow Road in the Town of Hickory Grove; and Barker Hollow Road in the Town of Millville.
Iowa County roads closed as of Tuesday include Iowa County II between County I and County Q, plus several town roads — Hach Road, Plank Road, Busch Road, Spring Valley Road between Wisconsin 80 and County I, Penn Hollow Road, Willow Springs Road between Blue River and County I, Pine Knob Road, and Clayhill Road off County X.
In Crawford County, Wisconsin 35 between Prairie du Chien and Lynxville is closed, and the road may not be repaired for weeks. Wisconsin 171 is also closed from Mount Sterling to Gays Mills. Other closed Crawford County roads include Tavern Road from Soldiers Grove to U.S. 61, Rush Creek Road off Wisconsin 35, Stoney Point Road from Wisconsin 27 to Wisconsin 171, and part of Bouska Road.
Richland County’s closed roads include Wisconsin 80 between Muscoda and Gotham, Richland County F north of Excelsior, Richland County O from County OO to 80, and Twin Bluffs Drive from U.S. 14 to County TB.
Round three of the storms took place Monday night with a report of a storm dumping more than 1.25 inches of rain in 25 minutes in eastern Iowa. The Tech Rescue Team was deployed for the third time since Friday to Fennimore on standby.
WGLR radio in Lancaster reported that Cassville received more than 3 inches of rain Monday overnight. The National Weather Service La Crosse office reported 2.75 inches of rain fell north-northwest of Readstown, 2.18 inches fell north-northwest of Prairie du Chien, Platteville got 1.51 inches, and Gays Mills got another 1.25 inches of rain Monday overnight. Flash flooding was reported on Ready Hollow Road at Grant County X near Bagley, forcing the evaluation of a trailer home, and on Wisconsin 35 in Patch Grove.
Flash flood watches and warnings were in effect on and off from Friday night through this morning.
Flood warnings are in effect for the Kickapoo River at Gays Mills and Steuben; the East Branch of the Pecatonica River at Blanchardville; and the Mississippi River at McGregor, Guttenberg and Dubuque. As of Tuesday morning the Kickapoo was 1.5 feet above flood stage at Gays Mills, 1.2 feet above flood stage at Readstown and Steuben, and 0.6 feet above flood stage at Blanchardville. The Mississippi is expected to be above flood stage until early next week.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center predicted severe weather for southwest Wisconsin through today.
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