Dane County officials have declared a state of emergency this morning after experiencing heavy rainfall Monday night; resulting in the heaviest rainfall within a 24-hour period ever recorded for the state of Wisconsin. Major flooding will continue in portions of Dane county where 10 inches or more of rain is expected and a high swim risk has been placed on all beaches of Lake Michigan due to dangerous currents.
On Monday evening, the area of Black Earth Creek at Black Earth saw a downpour of 7 feet of flooding water. “There is widespread flooding of lowland and agricultural land in the Black Earth area…where there is a 1 percent chance in any given year of the river reaching this level” (National Weather Service). With that in mind, we have seen this river level reach record breaking heights within one night of rain, causing a cause for concern amongst officials and Wisconsin residents.
RIGHT NOW: Evacuations are underway in Cross Plains, Mazomanie, and Black Earth as creek levels continue rising. I’ve talked to many folks that haven’t been able to return home since 5:30 last night. Many roads around the area are closed. Avoid the area! #news3 @WISCTV_News3 pic.twitter.com/tibblD77y3— Josh Spreiter (@JoshSpreiterTV) August 21, 2018
Residents in the town of Black Earth were ordered to evacuate this morning in addition to mandatory evacuations for the areas of Cross Plains and Mazomanie. Authorities stated that first response teams performed numerous water rescues Monday night when reports came in of residents that were caught in floodwaters in various towns.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind if caught in a flood situation:
- If you are caught in a flood of any kind, do not drive through or over a flooded road or bridge, try and find a higher route.
- If driving the car is no longer an option, do not stay in a flooded car. If your vehicle is surrounded by water, get out and look for higher ground.
- If in high ground, do not leave safety to enter flood water. Stay put and wait for rescuers or emergency personnel.