Additional road closures expected

Additional road closures are likely in downtown Madison as city officials plan for overnight rain that could add to ongoing flooding.

City officials held a news conference Thursday to update residents on plans to respond to the ongoing flooding.

As water rises, First Street at Johnson Street could close either tonight or tomorrow, according to Brian Smith of the Madison traffic engineering department.

East Johnson Street is closed at Tenney Park and lane closures on East Washington Avenue are going to be necessary. Full closure is a possibility. 

Dane County is opening a multi-agency resource center at Blackhawk Church at 9620 Brader Way, Middleton.

Residents wanting to report flood damage should go to the 211 website HERE to report any damage.

Dane County Lakes management increased the amount of water coming out of Lake Mendota at the Tenney Dam and that is taking place now. 

In addition, the city will open the locks channel to release more water this afternoon, according to City Engineer Robert Phillips.

Of particular concern is the upcoming forecast, and officials are urging auto owners to move their vehicles to higher ground.

At this point, Dane County staff is estimating that the Yahara River through the isthmus will go up another 3” to 6” over the next 24 hours.  Yesterday it went up about 5 inches.  A three inch rise is expected for Lake Monona over the next 24 hours. 

The level of the water in Lake Mendota has to be brought down to provide room for the rains that are predicted Friday and into next week.  If this isn’t done, the dam at Tenney would almost certainly be compromised.  A failure of the dam would cause devastating flooding along the Yahara River, in the Isthmus and the lands surrounding Lake Monona. 

Certain low lying areas of the isthmus are now at the same elevation as the elevation of the Yahara River. 

What that means, is that the water in the streets is a back water of the Yahara River.  The storm inlets and pipes are the only way to drain the street. 

When it rains, instead of water draining into a dry pipe, the water entering the pipe has to push water out of the pipe.  This makes the storm sewer much less efficient. 

The rain predicted for Madison on Friday and into next week is a significant concern.  Urban flash flooding will occur more readily if the rain that falls is intense.  More rain will only make the Yahara River and the Madison lakes rise further.  Residents should avoid parking in low lying areas. 

The city is making sand and sand bags available for residents and business owners to fill and use to protect their property. Bag and staff are available at the Tenney Beach parking lot, Commonwealth Development at 913 East Main, the Olbrich boat landing and other sites. The City is taking measures to protect City Facilities as well.

For more go to WKOW:

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