Storm hits Madison with flooding - Daily Leader Extra : Local News

Storm hits Madison with flooding

By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter | Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 3:37 pm

Flooded streets and basements greeted Madison residents on Thursday morning after a thunderstorm dropped more rain in Madison during the previous 24 hours. The Madison Municipal Airport reported about 6 1/2 inches of rain since the previous day.

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls reported 3 to 4 inches falling across Lake County from Wednesday into Thursday.

Personnel with the Madison Electric Department announced at about 6 a.m. on Facebook that electricians were dealing with two major outage areas. The areas were mapped out in northwest and southeast Madison.

The Facebook message stated, "At this time, these areas will be without power until the water recedes and our crews have an opportunity to evaluate the safety of the system."

The northwest outage area affected neighborhoods north of N. 3rd St. between Chicago and Blanche avenues. The southeast outage affected neighborhoods from downtown Madison to the southeast corner of the city.

At about 9 a.m., Electric Department personnel announced that other Madison homes and businesses would have their electricity service interrupted. Another Facebook message stated, "This is due to flooding of various city infrastructure and houses. Our system has not lost power to those entire circuits so extreme caution needs to be used when entering water-filled basements or areas."

City personnel asked residents to use caution when dealing with floodwater and electricity, saying, "Personal safety should be everyone's priority."

The staff and congregation at St. John Lutheran Church in Madison had to follow that advice. At about 10 a.m., Madison firefighters and city electricians were called to the church after the staff detected smoke in the building's attic area. The church also had floodwater in its basement.

Scott Parsley, church council president, said the electrical panel was located in the building's basement and electrical power was still active in the church. City workers using a front-end loader were able to evacuate the Rev. Elizabeth Pagnotta and her family -- husband Nick and children Jack and Finn -- from the church.

Avoid water use

The staff at Madison's wastewater treatment plant asked all Madison residents to reduce their use of water so the city's sewer system could have some relief from excessive amounts of water.

The staff at Madison's water treatment plant made the same request.

At 7 a.m., a city Facebook announcement stated, "Due to the overload of water at the treatment plants, residents are asked to curtail the use of water & the sanitary sewer system until water recedes."