Flooding brings mudslides, closed highway

Heavy rain puts much of La Crosse County under water

Flooding from heavy rain Tuesday into Wednesday brought mudslides, damaged roads and a closed highway.

Emergency management coordinator Keith Butler said La Crosse County has escaped many of the heavier rainfalls this summer, but this one was different.

“They’ve kind of gone around us,” he said. “This one dumped right on us.”

The restaurant Cindy’s in Mindoro is an everyday hangout for the local crew to sit back and play cards, but in many ways, Wednesday was not an everyday experience.

“The weather has been bad, really bad,” waitress and cook Sandra Sherz said. “Now with no electricity, I don’t like it.”

The power went out around 2 p.m. Butler said there was an extended outage in downtown Mindoro.

“We’re had the power go off like it has before but then it’d go back on. This time it’s staying off,” local Bob Sbraggia said as thunder clapped in the background. “Oh, you have it right there. Thunder and lightning, all night long.”

He and fellow customer Bruce Olson said the storm led to the worst flooding they’ve seen in years, let alone all summer.

“There are more slides and washouts than there are signs,” Butler said.

One mudslide on County Road TA took a power line with it.

“That’s a very, very dangerous situation,” Butler said.

Flooding also made it hard to get around.

“On (County Road) DE and (Highway) 108 I had to go through about 6 inches of water flowing across the road,” Sbraggia said. “I didn’t know if I could make it across.”

That part of Highway 108 is now closed.

“The creak (there) is usually mild, now it’s raging water,” Butler said. “We won’t know ‘til the rain (water) comes down whether that road is even still there.”

With a forecast predicting even more rain Wednesday night, that high water might not come down anytime soon.

“On top of what we already received, this spells trouble for everyone tonight,” Butler said.

Meanwhile at Cindy’s, the regulars fought through the storm and lack of electricity to continue playing cards.

“Nope, it’s not going to stop those guys,” Sherz said.

Butler is warning everyone in the area to prepare for storms, and stay off the roads if at all possible Wednesday night.

Butler said the segment of Highway 108 from County Roads DE to T will be closed at least throughout the night.