Sauk County escapes flood damage

August 22, 2018

Sauk County emerged unscathed from a rainstorm Monday that submerged western Dane County.

More than 15 inches fell in Cross Plains, possibly the heaviest rainfall ever reported in a 24-hour period in Wisconsin. A man died when his car stalled in high water on Madison’s west side and he was swept away. A highway bridge and railroad bridge were washed out in Black Earth, and shoppers were marooned overnight at a Middleton discount store.

But only 1.74 inches fell in Baraboo, according to the rain gauge at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Despite warnings issued via the Nixle service of possible heavy rain, and a flash flood watch until 4 a.m. Tuesday, Sauk County Emergency Management Director Jeff Jelinek said Tuesday morning that no damage or injuries had been reported.

To the south and west, power remained out in some areas Tuesday, and a flood warning for western Dane County that was set to expire Wednesday was extended to Thursday. Some roads remained impassable Tuesday afternoon.

Highway 14 through parts of Dane and Iowa counties was closed due to high water. Traffic was rerouted to Highways 60 and 12 in Sauk County between Spring Green and Sauk City.

Black Earth Creek reached a record high level Monday night and continued to rise Tuesday. Firefighters and EMS workers from several volunteer groups worked through Monday night to evacuate hundreds of residents from homes and apartment buildings in Cross Plains, Black Earth and Mazomanie.

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