As cleanup continues across Dane County in the wake of this summer’s floods, the discussion now turns on how best to prevent a flood in the future.
Richard Lathrop from the UW-Madison Limnology department says simply lowering the levels on Lake Mendota during the summer months won’t help during the next flood event.
“Mendota can release it really fast, but the lower lakes can’t take it with the way the system is set up now.”
He says treating the Yahara Lakes simply like a reservoir is the wrong approach, and that more needs to be done by opening channels in the lower lakes, as well as improving flood mitigation in general across Dane County.
“We have to be able to get rid of the water faster out of the lower lakes, because if we don’t, the water just keeps piling up in Mendota.”
Dane County crews were out in force during the flood opening up channels on Lakes Mendota and Monona, working to clear out weed blockages. Water levels are still above where they’d normally be at this time of year.