18 Oxford Place Madison WI 53704 Non-Emergency Phone: 608.244.3390 Emergency Phone: 911
Maple Bluff Fire Rescue Department
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08/23/18, 12:00hrs: Village Update from Tim Krueger
Myself and several other staff spent several hours this morning on Conference Calls with Emergency Management officials from around the area. There is a lot of planning and operational work being done to manage the weather related events from the past several days. Specifically, concerns are now focused on flooding in the entire Yahara basin, including the lakes (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa).
Just a few moments ago at 11am, Dane Co opened Tenney locks to allow an additional volume of water to flow from Lake Mendota. That release is anticipated to rise the river by 3-6 inches. You may be aware that Johnson is closed. One lane of E Washington is also covered by water and plans are being made that include the potential that all of E Washington may need to be shut down at some point. Currently, traffic is heavily congested on E Washington. If you don't need to go downtown, you are being encouraged to avoid the area.
Here in the Village we are in the same position as we have been since the rain several days ago. Luckily for us, Dane Co is able to manage the lake level so well. But please be aware that the water flow to Lake Mendota from the surrounding water sheds is quite heavy. The release/outflow is the only thing keeping the lake level managed and keeping us dry. Lake Monona and Lake Waubesa are at the 100 year flood level; Lake Mendota and Lake Kegonsa are just slightly below that level. It usually takes Lake Mendota anywhere from 4-7 days to crest after a heavy rain event and with the nature of that most recent rain, it may take longer. Surrounding towns and communities still have water backed up; the entire water shed area is backed up. The additional release this morning is designed to get Mendota lowered to accept additional rain anticipated in the next few days.
Representatives of the National Weather Service who were also on the call report additional storms/rain coming in the next 24-48 hours. They identified that we have been in a very rainy pattern for most of this year and that will not change as we head into the fall. There is rain anticipated in the area almost every day next week. Keep in mind that even if we are not getting rain, any storms around us, especially north of the lake will impact us. Also, grounds are saturated so the impact due to limited capacity upstream makes it worse.
You are still encouraged to secure your boats if they are still on their hoist. With storms often comes wind which will make wave action very dangerous to any boats still on hoists. Slow/No Wake is in place on all of the lakes and there is no anticipation of when that will be lifted. This restriction is in place because of the high water, but even more importantly it is based upon the debris that is in the water including trees, branches, boat piers, bogs, etc. Boating right now is dangerous so please use caution. The lake water is considered to be contaminated (chemicals, sanitary sewer material, farm run off, etc); all Madison area beaches are closed due to e.coli so avoid exposure the best you can.
The Village will have sand and sand bags available if you believe that your home may be threatened by rising water. Fire Department staff have made contact at several homes that are in vulnerable areas to flooding. If you need assistance, please contact the Village Center.
We will continue to monitor these circumstances and we will participate with ongoing emergency government planning activities. Please stay alert to conditions that may impact you and your situation.