Governor Jim Doyle Sunday declared a state of emergency in three counties in southwestern Wisconsin, Crawford, Richland and Vernon, that have been hardest hit by flooding. Thunderstorms dropped up to 12 inches of rain through Sunday in parts of southwestern Wisconsin, with those three counties and La Crosse County being the hardest hit. Flash floods washed out roads and bridges, and triggered a mudslide which pushed a house onto a highway.
Wisconsin Emergency Management spokeswoman Lori Getter said there have been no reports of injuries. Doyle declared the state of emergency and directed all state agencies to assist the affected communities: “we are using all of our capabilities to quickly respond to this emergency, and we will continue to do everything possible to make sure the people and communities affected get the help they need to make a quick recovery.” Doyle spokesperson Carla Vigue said the governor would tour the affected areas on Monday.
The Crawford County communities of Gays Mills and Soldiers Grove appear to be among the hardest hit. Some 75 homes were reported under water in downtown Gays Mills, according to Getter. The Red Cross opened a shelter at North Crawford High School in Soldiers Grove.