Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced a statewide state of emergency on Wednesday, August 29, due to an "ongoing statewide weather pattern, which has led to severe storms, heavy downpours, flooding, and tornadoes." The announcement comes one day after a state of emergency was declared for the counties of Fond du Lac, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, and Washington on August 28 amid heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. Dane county was also placed under a state of emergency last week due to floods. Wednesday's declaration directs state agencies to assist in response and recovery and authorizes a call to the Wisconsin National Guard to active duty.
Heavy rain caused widespread flash flooding from the night of Monday, August 27 (local time), into Tuesday, August 28. The flooding reportedly damaged and closed roads, forced evacuations, and triggered mudslides southeast of La Crosse. Thousands of people were reported to be without power in southeastern Wisconsin due to the severe weather, although that number had gone down to approximately 9000 by Wednesday afternoon. Tornadoes were also reported on Tuesday in Campbellsport, Lomira, Oakfield, and Brandon. While no further significant rainfall is forecast in the immediate future, lingering transportation disruptions are expected in persist in affected areas in the coming hours and days.
Individuals in the affected areas of Wisconsin are advised to monitor local media reports, avoid traveling through flooded areas, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all food discarded.
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