Over the last couple of days southern Wisconsin has had record breaking amounts of rainfall. We are over the record amount of rainfall for June by 7″ and it is only June 10th! Some areas of the state had over 12″ of rain in two days. There are floods everywhere and dams are breaking but the real story is about what has happened in the Lake Delton area.
For those of you familiar with the area Lake Delton is just southwest of the popular tourist destination of Wisconsin Dells and is a tourist destination in itself. For the last couple days the lake levels have been rising rapidly flooding it’s banks and nearby basements. City officials were worried the dam at the end of the lake was going to give way and started to reinforce the dam with sandbags. Well, the dam didn’t give out. Instead the water found it’s own way out and carved a 300 foot wide channel upstream to the Wisconsin River. It came as a complete shock to everyone and suddenly homes that weren’t even lake front property were completely washed down river. Three homes are completely gone and two other homes were ripped in half as their foundations gave way. The channel also completely took out a local highway. Luckily, no one was hurt.
The 600 million gallon lake almost completely drained in less than two hours.
(Photos curtesy of JSOnline.com)
You can see some amazing footage of the whole thing here: Channel 15
My parent live near the Wisconsin River downstream of Lake Delton and yesterday they saw the house debris floating down the river. My heart goes out to the families affected by this trajedy and I hope that they will be able to rebuild their lives as best they can.
It just goes to show you how quickly natural disasters like this can happen and how important it is to have insurance.