WEM, US Army Corps of Engineers aim to reduce flooding near Baraboo River

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SAUK COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) -- Sauk County Emergency Management, along with over departments near the Baraboo River corridor, will be submitting a letter of support for a project under the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Wisconsin Emergency Management and the state's hazard mitigation team are working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to submit a Silver Jackets Project application.

The project would be a study of the Baraboo River corridor to identify the best spots for increasing natural flood storage along the river and a survey of property owners in those areas to determine the likelihood of implementing a project to increase natural flood storage, according to Katie Sommers, Hazard Mitigation Section Supervisor for Wisconsin Emergency Management.

The Baraboo River has a long history of flooding. Most recently severe floods in August and September of 2018 overwhelmed communities, agricultural land, and recreational facilities causing over $3 million in estimated damages to public infrastructure in Juneau and Sauk counties. Nearly 50 structures along the river sustained substantial damage from the 2018 flood.

The Baraboo River Corridor Project would determine the best areas for increasing natural flood storage to alleviate the repetitive flooding to communities, agricultural land and recreational facilities, according to Sauk County Emergency Management.

An analysis to determine how various options would decrease flooding in communities along the river would feed into FEMA’s benefit-cost analysis software to allow WEM to apply for projects to increase flood storage, according to Sommers.

Sauk County Emergency Management will participate in planning, education, and outreach activities to ensure they are involving the public throughout the process, according to the department.