The Latest: Authorities identify man killed in Madison flood

August 22, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in Wisconsin (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Authorities are identifying a man who drowned during widespread flooding in Madison this week.

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man as 70-year-old James A. Sewell of Madison. Preliminary autopsy reports confirmed the cause of death as accidental drowning.

Sewell was driving on Madison’s west side on Monday evening when floodwaters pushed his car into a drainage ditch. Bystanders, including Madison Alderman Matt Phair and his wife, managed to get Sewell’s passengers to safety as the car filled with water. They got Sewell out but the current wrenched him out of their arms and sucked him under the car.

Firefighters recovered his body Tuesday morning in a retention pond about a third of a mile from his car.


2:20 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says he hopes to inspect flooding in Dane County from the ground soon.

Torrential storms dumped more than 11 inches of rain on the county Monday overnight into Tuesday, causing widespread flooding and power outages. One man died after rushing floodwaters swept his car into a drainage ditch in Madison. Authorities have yet to identify him.

Walker surveyed the flooded areas from the air on Wednesday. He offered condolences to the dead man’s family during a news conference and said hopes to visit a number of flooded communities on Thursday.

He warned of the potential of more rain and rising water. Forecasts call for a 70 percent chance of rain in Madison on Friday.


12:05 p.m.

Dane County Emergency Management is urging communities along the chain of Yahara Lakes to be prepared for flooding. Emergency managers say the levels on the Yahara Lakes have been steadily increasing over the past 24 hours with the heavy rain fall that caused widespread flooding this week in Dane County.

The levels are expected to continue to rise downstream of Lake Mendota, possibly rising another 3 to 6 inches in the next 24 hours in places along Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa and Lake Kegonsa. Officials say the City of Monona and Town of Dunn may experience flooding in the coming days.

The county is sending hundreds of sandbags and a sandbagging machine to the area.

Dane County is under a state of emergency as a result of this week widespread flooding.


10:20 a.m.

As residents in Dane County work to clean up from this week’s widespread flooding, health officials are sending out a reminder of what can be lurking in the water. Flood waters can carry sewage, manure, pesticides, gas and other health hazards. Officials recommend cleaning up contaminants as soon as possible to prevent the growth of mold.

Private well owners may need to disinfect their water. If the well head has been submerged the contaminated flood water may have polluted the drinking water.

A deluge of rain overnight Monday led to massive flooding that washed out roads and bridges, stranded motorists, swamped homes and led to the death of one man in Madison.


6:52 a.m.

Residents of a small village that straddles Dane and Green counties worked into the night to protect their properties from flood water.

They filled sandbags as the swelling Sugar River overflowed in Belleville Tuesday night. Village spokesman Terry Kringle tells WKOW-TV about nine families were evacuated on the east side of the community and are staying with friends or family. Kringle says the bridge over Highway 69 is closed.

Belleville is just the latest community to deal with widespread flooding that hit Dane County this week. Searchers on Tuesday recovered the body of a man who was swept away in rushing flood water in Madison.

The National Weather Service says more than 11 inches (28 centimeters) of rain fell Monday night through Tuesday in the area.


Information from: WKOW-TV, http://www.wkow.com

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