This collection documents the events that took place in June of 2008 focusing on the Lake Delton dam breach. Included in the collection are photos, rainfall data, dam plans, and current floodplain and flood storage maps for the area. It is fair to say flooding is not new to this area along the Wisconsin River with events occurring at various times throughout history.
Southern Wisconsin, 2008: During the first half of June, 2008, seven southern counties received more than a foot of rainfall, as daily precipitation records were set 114 times in Wisconsin cities and towns. The town of Ontario received more the 6 inches on June 8th, and Baraboo more than 17 inches during the month. Unfortunately, record snowfalls the previous winter had left historic high streamflows across much of the state. The combination of the two forces led to flooding of historic proportions in the watersheds of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers. Lake Delton, located in the Wisconsin Dells in south central Wisconsin, breached its dam and emptied into the nearby Wisconsin River on the 9th, sweeping away three homes and part of a highway. Thirty-one Wisconsin counties were declared disaster areas, more than 40,000 homes and 5,000 businesses were damaged; state officials estimated the total damage at more than $1.2 billion. [U.S. Geological Survey. "Flooding in the Midwest, June 2008" and "Record Rains during the First Half of June 2008"; Capital Times, Dec. 3, 2008; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 18, 2008]
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For More Information
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Emergency Management