(PHOTO: Andy Manis – Wisconsin State Journal, CAPTION: Flood waters inundated Interstate 90-94 at State Road 33 west of Portage Friday, June 13, 2008.)
My sister was telling me tonight that my neice had seen National Guard troops standing guard at the Interstate ramps because it is closed. At first I thought she meant something she’d seen on TV about Iowa but realized she meant here in Madison. (which hasn’t flooded) Apparently it is closed from Madison to about 45 miles north. I can’t recall such a thing happening. Indeed theWisconsin State Journal reports the many road closures in WI is unprecedented:
With some schools letting
out and a weekend of summer travel ahead for many, the unprecedented
closings of major roads across southern Wisconsin Friday snarled
traffic and created huge headaches for motorists and authorities. And
no one can say for sure when the roads will reopen.
As of 9 p.m.
Friday, more than 40 state highways, including Interstates, and
hundreds of county and local roads had some kind of closures, said
state officials, who called the road flooding the worst in memory.
Stretches as long as 50 miles of major highways were closed, including
heavily travelled parts of Interstates 94, 90-94, and 39.
Patrol Superintendent David Collins said that the road flooding in
southern Wisconsin, stretching from “the Mississippi to Lake Michigan,”
was unlike anything he had seen in 30 years.
“It’s just unheard of,” Collins said. “I have never seen water standing on the (Interstates) like this.”
That is one aspect of the flooding here and it will affect the tourism industry. Another effect is crop losses which are expected to be in the tens of millions. One estimate is a loss of$20 million in crops for Dane County alone.
But of course there is the terrible damage and loss of homes.
(Photo: John Maniaci – Wisconsin State Journal, Rock Springs WI 6/11/2008)
Many homeowners did not have and will not be able to retroactively get flood insurance. There had been some talk of communities retroactively enrolling in the National Flood Insurance Program which didn’t sound possible to me. And it is not. From theCapital Times:
The 50 Wisconsin communities that opted out
of the federal flood insurance program may still be eligible for
some Federal Emergency Management Agency aid, Gov. Jim Doyle said
at a press conference Friday afternoon.
Communities have up to six months to re-enter
the insurance program, but Doyle advised re-entering as soon as
possible. The flood insurance benefits would not be retroactive, he
said, but basic FEMA services would be available for the
communities hit hard by recent storms and flooding, including
“grants and funds for rebuilding.
“If you don’t have insurance, you can’t go
back under FEMA or any private insurer and say, ‘Well I didn’t buy
the insurance, but now that this has happened to me, I want to go
back and buy the insurance. You can’t do that,” Doyle said.
The Capital Times reports individual familes could receive up to $28,000 and FEMA assessors are now in 5 counties and expected to go to 25 more counties. Also Bush has yet to make a disaster declaration for any part of WI though Gov Doyle has spoken with him and Doyle “will seek a
declaration by Saturday” according to the Cap Times article above.
And then of course there is the“Unprecedented” flooding in Iowa (Link to DKos diary with photos of flooding in Cedar Rapids)