The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center has been working tirelessly for over three days to clear roads and assess damages caused by major flooding throughout the region.
According to local news affiliate WEAU, heavy rains led to destructive flooding throughout Western Wisconsin, from Osseo, to Strum, and parts of Buffalo, Clark, Jackson, and Trempealeau counties.
The Strum Dam, a popular local landmark and a major part of the city’s water supply, was breached by the flooding.
The operator of the dam, Gary Barone, said he received a call on Monday morning from Osseo informing him of high water levels there. Barone said the water had rose eight inches within 30 minutes Monday morning.
He added that the normal water level for the dam is around 480 inches. By Monday night, the dam’s water levels reached a staggering 770 inches.
Cody Rose, a witness to the flooding, told WEAU that “the water was above (my car’s) headlights and it basically looked like a big swimming pool for a while.”
An update on Thursday from local news affiliate WXOW noted just how serious the damages were. The Trempealeau County Emergency Department reported $1.955 million in total damage to homes and businesses in Osseo, Strum and Eleva.
Officials also say that 25 homes were impacted by high water, with one suffering major damage estimated at $275,000. Water damage is a common result of extensive flooding, and its consequences can be extremely serious.
“Water can cause a substantial amount of home damage in a short period of time,” says Brian Thurston, Certified Mold Remediation Specialist, Pro-Clean Services. “Hiring a professional water restoration team right away will limit the effects caused by water damage, saving an outrageous repair bill. If moisture within the home is not mitigated properly, mold growth can rapidly develop causing a serious health hazard.”
WXOW also reports that Buffalo county is still under a state of emergency, though the Strum Dam is holding at an acceptable level.
Several roads throughout Western Wisconsin are still closed to traffic three days after the storm. Emergency Managers are advising all residents to avoid travel when possible.