Between Aug. 20-21, 12 inches of rain fell on the City of Middleton and more than 14 inches on the Village of Cross Plains, displacing residents, stranding motorists and flooding area businesses.
At the April 25 Waunakee Rotary meeting, municipal officials talked about the deluge’s impact on those communities.
Mike Davis, City of Middleton Administrator, and Caitlin Stene, formerly the Cross Plains Administrator, described not only the event but the recovery, both the short and long term.
Mike said dealing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency red tape has been a struggle.
“It’s a lengthy process to go through and get FEMA assistance,” Mike said, noting the assistance comes six months after notification that all has been certified.
He said the flood resulted from a 1,000-year rain event, which means it had one-tenth of 1 percent of a chance of happening.
It caused $5 million in damage to residential properties, $33 million in damage to businesses, not counting lost inventory and profit, and just over $6.5 million in damage to public infrastructure.
Most of the businesses had flood insurance, Mike said, and all but two have reopened.
Mike showed images taken of a normally 10-foot wide creek turned into a raging river. Flooded roads in the Deming Way area stranded motorists, some who stayed the night at local businesses and hotels.
Throughout Pheasant Branch, the community lost the use of six bridges.
“Until this past weekend, we were without the use of these,” Mike said, adding that five are back in and the city is looking for longer term solutions.
To repair public infrastructure, a city referendum seeking to raise stormwater utility rates from $15 to $45 per year passed with 76 percent of the vote. It’s expected to generate $2.8 million over the next five years.
In Cross Plains, where Brewery Creek and Black Earth Creek run through, the community received 14 inches of water within a 16-hour period, Caitlin said, turning roads into rivers. The most impacted section was Brewery Road, where to the two creeks meet. She showed a 45-unit apartment building with water flowing on the driveway into the underground parking area where all residents had to be evacuated.
That night, two firefighters were struck by lightning, one structure fire occurred, and 100 individuals were housed in two different emergency shelters.
A local resident who owns a 1-ton military truck offered up its use, helping to rescue people and get them to shelters. One woman rescued has been trapped on top of her vehicle, which was floating down the road.
Caitlin said of 1,500 residential structures in Cross Plains, 800 sustained damage. Of those, 3 percent had flood insurance.
Other News:
–Twelve high school seniors applied for Rotary Scholarships, Bob Arntz told the club. The four recipients are Alyssa Kuhn, Amy Beczkiewicz, Chezney Phelps and Maxwell Christian.
–The club welcomed a new member, David Dargenio. Welcome, David!
Guests: ??
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: None.
Anniversaries: May 6, Don and Joanne Tierney; May 6, Roxanne and Kevin Johnson; May 8, Todd and Tonya Schmidt.
Greeters: May  2, Linda Olson and Cindy Patzner; May 9, Danny Paul and Ken Pesik; May 16, James Pingel and Erick Plumb.