Road closures, more flooding expected in Madison

Flooding on Gammon Road at on ramp to Beltline
Flooding on Gammon Road at on ramp to Beltline(NBC15)
Published: Aug. 23, 2018 at 4:29 PM CDT
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Flooding in the Madison area may continue for one or two weeks and city leaders are advising residents, commuters to "take action and precautions."

City of Madison spokesperson Katie Crawley said that Dane County is estimating the Yahara River through the Isthmus will go up another three to six inches between Monday and Tuesday night.

By Friday, Lake Monona had already reached 847.97 feet of water above sea level. The last historic high was June 2008, at 847.86 feet of water above sea level.

"It's an unprecedented event, you cannot go by what you've seen in the past in regards to what you plan to do in this event," City Engineer Rob Phillips said.

Lake Mendota is already sitting at its 100-year flood elevation level and if the level is not brought down, the dam at Tenney Park would most likely be compromised and could cause significant damage.

“If the Tenney Dam were to fail we would have a catastrophic event. Far worse form what we’re experiencing now or what we’re about to," Phillips said.

With high lake levels and predicted rain, Dane County is trying to ease the pressure on dams before the storm hits to be better prepared.

The City of Madison suggested moving valuables or furniture in basements to higher ground and sand-bagging, especially for residents near lakes or rivers.

"People should understand the level of the water and take action and precautions if necessary," a Madison Water Utility spokesperson said.

A Madison Water Utility spokesperson said that drinking water is safe at this point and is being tested daily. As of now, one well is at risk and that 101 North Livingston is being sandbagged and shut down on Friday, Aug. 24 as a precaution.

Roads on the east side of Madison may be closed as early as Monday night in preparation for the anticipated rainfall.

"Try to drive to and from work outside of what our normal traffic peak periods are," City Traffic Engineer Brian Smith said. "The more you can avoid those periods, the better it's going to be for everybody."

Road crews believe that First Street on the east side will need to be closed in addition to East Washington depending on the water levels.

The water levels could also impact city parking facilities, especially those in low-lying areas.

The City of Madison outlined areas that are closed and detours to take as a result of the flooding.


Keep checking back on our website and watch our evening newscasts for the latest, or click

for the City of Madison's website.

Road closures as of 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23:

East Johnson Street is closed between North Baldwin Street and Fordem Avenue in both directions because of the flooding at Tenney Park.

Traffic for East Johnson Street is detoured to East Washington Avenue through North Baldwin Street and North First Street. Southbound traffic on Fordem Avenue can turn east on Johnson Street.

East Johnson Street will be closed until flood waters recede and travel delays are expected during peak travel hours in the morning and afternoon.

Lanes will occasionally be closed on East Washington Avenue which could cause travel delays during peak travel hours in the morning and afternoon.

Deming way is closed between Gialamas Way and Fourier Drive.

East Main Street is closed at the Yahara River. The City of Madison listed East Washington Avenue or Williamson Street/Winnebago Street as alternative routes.

The 700 block of Mifflin Street is closed between Blount Street and Livingston Street.

Longmeadow Road is closed near Stricker's Pond.

County Highway M (Century Avenue) in Middleton is closed between Donna Drive and Branch Street

. Officials told NBC15 that it will be closed until at least Tuesday.

Now open:

-Mineral Point Road and Odana Road are open near West Towne Mall

-Whitney Way is open south of the Beltline

-Old Sauk Road is open at Waterside Street

Park closures as of Aug. 23:

-McCormick Dog Park

-Bordner Park playground

-Tenney Park shelter and lagoon area

The City of Madison is making sand bags available for residents and business owners at the Tenney Beach parking lot, the Common Wealth Development at 913 East Main and the Olbrich boat landing.

For a full list of sandbags available throughout the city, look at


For a list of metro transit detours and bike path updates, visit The City of Madison's