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Crawford County declares state of emergency due to flooding, mudslides

Nine homes, four businesses evacuated Sunday

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Wis. - Crawford County has declared a state of emergency.

Flooding and mudslides have kept road crews busy since Saturday night's severe storms.

"It was amazing, the power that water has is really amazing," said Crawford County Sheriff Dale McCullick.

Gays Mills and Steuben have been hit the worst. Heavy storms caused the Kickapoo River to swell well over its banks.

Nine homes and four businesses in Crawford County had to be evacuated.

But an overflowing river isn't the only problem.


"There were a lot of mudslides across the roads. Some of the roads were being undermined. People were trapped, couldn't get out of their homes because of the water that had surrounded their homes, and mud slides that had surrounded their homes," said McCullick.

The mud slides shut down State Highway 35 from Prairie du Chien to De Soto.

"We had one of the roads closed off and it was like another river running down through there. I've been around here for 23 years and I've never seen that much water coming in. It was just coming off the hills. It wasn't from the river. It was runoff that was coming off the hills," said McCullick.

That runoff is causing problems for Prairie du Chien as well.

"We had mud on probably, I'd say, a six-block radius of the storm water ditch here," said Prairie du Chien Mayor Dave Hemmer.

Hemmer said runoff coming down from Highway 27 caused the city's storm water ditch to overflow into the streets.

"The water was all flowing down this ditch and it got so much coming down off the hill off 27 into our storm water ditch that it filled it up and... the inlet that goes down to the underground pipe there, it's just inundated," said Hemmer.

As more storms approach in the days ahead, all emergency crews can do is clear away the water, mud and brush -- and wait for the next round to hit.

Crawford County residents who want to report or ask for assistance can call Emergency Management at 608-326-0266.

Here's a list of areas that were impacted by the thunderstorm that swept through the area, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT):
Near EASTMAN—All lanes blocked EB/WB WIS 170 near WIS 27 NB due to water on roadway
Neat GAYS MILLS—All lanes were blocked EB/WB WIS 171 near WIS 27 NB due to water on the roadway. All lanes are open as of about 4:30 p.m.
Near BOSCOBEL—All lanes were affected on US 61 Northbound and southbound near WIS 60 Eastbound. US 61 were closed in both directions from WIS 60 to Boscobel due to water on roadway and debris. All lanes opened around 4:30 p.m.
Near PRAIRIE DU CHIEN—All lanes were blocked on WIS 35 NB/SB and near WIS 27 NB due to mudslides and bad weather. Lanes opened to traffic around 4:30 p.m.
Near Blue River—WIS 133 NB/SB (between Boscobel and Muscoda) was closed in both directions near East Street because of water over the roadway. WisDOT says the incident was cleared and traffic was allowed through around 5 p.m.
Near MUSCODA—All lanes affected on WIS 133 NB/SB near WIS 80. WIS 133 re-opened in both directions from Muscoda to Lone Rock Bridge.
Near AVOCA—All lanes affected on WIS 130 NB/SB near WIS 23 Eastbound. WIS 130 now open in both directions from WIS 23 to Lone Rock Bridge.
Near Lone Rock- WIS 60 EB/WB near WIS 80 is now open.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says Highway 26 is closed at Houston County Road 14 due to water over the road.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation also says Highway 76 between Houston and Caledonia is now open due to high water at the Yucatan Bridge.
Highway 16 East of Houston is now open between Houston and Hokah.

Stormteam 8 Meteorologist Michelle Poedel says most of the region should remain dry tonight. There is the potential for a few more storms to develop late tonight south and east of La Crosse. If storms do fire, they could provide more heavy rain. A flash flood watch remains in effect until 7 a.m. for Allamakee, Winnishiek, Houston, La Crosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford and Richland counties. In addition, an areal flood advisory remains in effect for Allamakee, Winnishiek, Houston, Fillmore, Crawford, Vernon, and Richland Counties until 1:30 a.m. due to several road closures and damage.

For more on the StormTeam 8 forecast and to see local radar, go to www.news8000.com/weather. You can also check out updates from our meteorologists on Facebook at: WKBT StormTeam 8 Weather.

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