More rain expected through Wednesday could lead to more flooding in Madison

October 9, 2018

Rainy days and nights in Madison are expected to continue for the next couple of days, again raising concerns about flooding.

The National Weather Service said the best chance for showers and thunderstorms is Tuesday night through Wednesday, when the area could see up to three-quarters of an inch. Scattered showers are possible through Wednesday night before drier conditions move in.

Any additional rainfall, coupled with the precipitation received over the weekend, could threaten to flood an area still recovering from a record rainfall on Aug. 20 that caused extensive flooding.

On Monday, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said although recent rain has led to some standing water on streets and in low-lying parks, the flooding is less extensive than it was after the August deluge.

“We’re not quite back where we were a month ago,” he said. “But unfortunately our concern ... has unfortunately been realized in that we’re beginning to see some flooding.”

Residents and businesses in areas prone to flooding — like parts of the Isthmus — should keep sandbags in place or consider laying some down, Soglin said.

Free sandbags and sand are available at locations throughout the city.

The city has closed South Brittingham Place and West Main Street at Proudfit Street because of the recent rains and resulting flooding, Soglin said. In addition, a section of East Main Street at the Yahara River remains closed.

Olin Turville Court will be closed Wednesday through mid-November for sanitary sewer repairs. The city is also closely watching water levels near the Wingra Creek Bike Path, Soglin said.

As fall progresses and leaves fall off trees, Soglin said residents can help prevent flooding by keeping curbside storm sewer grates near their homes or businesses free of leaves and debris so rainwater drains better.

“Make sure the leaves are not in the grates,” he said. “This is something ... city crews cannot cover.”

While the flooding damage estimates are still undetermined in Madison, Soglin and Ald. Amanda Hall, 3rd District, recently authored a resolution to amend the city’s 2018 budget to allocate $3.2 million for emergency sewer repairs and to help cover increased water-treatment costs that are a result of storm water infiltrating the sanitary sewer system.

That money would mostly come from reserves and some borrowing.

In addition, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi’s 2019 budget, which was introduced last week, included $18 million for flood relief and prevention.

So far, 3.66 inches of rain have fallen in October, or 3.11 inches more than normal, according to the National Weather Service.

For the meteorological fall of September through November, Madison has received 9.12 inches of rain, or 5.44 inches more than normal, according to the weather service.

For more information about flooding in Madison, go to go.madison.com/madison-floods.

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