Wisconsin River flooding

State of emergency declared due to flooding risk across Wisconsin

April 19, 2023 7:45 AM

By: Jimmie Kaska

MADISON, Wis. (Civic Media) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency across the state due to the risk of flooding.

Executive Order #194, signed Tuesday, provides municipalities with the ability to request assistance from a number of state agencies to help mitigate flooding along waterways in Wisconsin.

The order directs the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Wisconsin National Guard to assist local authorities in the event of flooding.

“Protecting Wisconsinites from potential major flood impacts is a serious concern for our state, especially as the water levels could continue to rise in the coming days,” Evers said. “This executive order instructs state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to provide assistance should the need arise and helps ensure resources are available to assist with response and recovery efforts.”

While spring flooding is a regular occurrence in Wisconsin, record-setting temperatures have caused northern Wisconsin’s snow pack to melt rapidly, and coupled with recent heavy precipitation across the state, resulting in river flooding in low-lying areas. Several roadways, railroads, parks, and other areas have been closed or damaged as a result of the flooding.

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the Mississippi, Wisconsin, Chippewa, St. Croix and Wolf rivers, with many cresting over the weekend due to the expected thunderstorms and continued snow melt the rest of the week. Some areas along the Mississippi are expected to see the highest river crests since 1951.

If you are in a vehicle, turn around, don’t drown if you come upon a flooded roadways. Most flood deaths happen in vehicles. For more information on how to stay safe and plan ahead in the event of flooding, you can visit the National Weather Service website.

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