Weather experts predict greater than average flooding risk

MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV)-- Officials are urging people to be proactive after a report from the National Weather Service predicts a greater than average risk for flooding in 2020.

Some victims are still picking up the pieces from the historic flood in 2018.

"It's a great spot. We have great neighbors, but stuff happens,” John Skillrud, Middleton resident said.

Skillrud spent 18 years in his home. He said one of his favorite places is outside the house in the backyard.

"We had our vegetable garden down here, but that was all taken out," he said.

Skillrud said nearly 15 inches of torrential rain in August 2018 led to immense flooding causing the creek behind his home to overflow.

"Waking up the next morning at 4, and it sounded like there was a waterfall outside and walking out and seeing every single thing attached to water was gone," Skillrud said.

He said the water was so powerful, the boat docked behind his house ended up in the middle of the lake. His favorite spot was gone.

“We have a significant cost to replace our dock, hoist and everything that we lost,” he said. "It was pretty hard to see.”

The homes near the creek were protected by a bulk head wall, but it was taken out by the rush of water. Weather experts said flooding can quickly take a turn for the worse.

"Typically it could get bad pretty quickly if you have a rapid snow melt," Cameron Miller, National Weather Service Meteorologist said.

Miller said due to the wet weather in 2019, the soil is more saturated than normal.

"With all that wetness and all that rain on top of that, that's going to increase the risk of flooding," he said.

He explained the warm temps can lead to rapid snow melt causing lake or rivers to rise. Experts said it's best for homeowners to stay proactive and get flood insurance if you can.

"It was a traumatic event,” Skillrud said.

But he remains optimistic that the new bulkhead that the city built will protect him and his home.

"I'm confident that we should be fairly well-protected. Unfortunately we can't predict the future," he said.

Skillrud said he's going to start rebuilding in the spring.