June 07, 2008 - Lake Delton, Wisconsin Flood | Severe Storms
A major flood event affects central and southern Wisconsin that last into the summer months. Lake Delton drained into the Wisconsin River and the Fox and Rock rivers reach record flood levels.
June 07, 2008 - Wisconsin Flooding
It was a beautiful Saturday morning as I woke up to a forecast of severe thunderstorms across Iowa and much of southern Wisconsin. Around 10:30 a.m. there were a couple of isolated elevated thunderstorms moving into west-central Wisconsin. The concern was these storms would become surface based as the morning progressed. Around early afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center had issued a tornado watch across most of Iowa and central and southern Wisconsin.
As my girlfriend and I were leaving Waukesha, the first tornado warning was issued for the Lake Delton|Wisconsin Dells area. We decided to travel to Watertown, Wisconsin to get in position for an intercept. The storm was a monster HP supercell, moving east southeast. There were smaller popcorn storms moving northeast, south of the HP storm.
We traveled south to Johnson's Creek near I-94 at McDonald's to make a decision to get a grasp on the situation. The dominate storm to our northwest was producing some cloud to ground lightning while the popcorn storms to our west and southwest were showing signs of rotation on the radar. The main HP supercell was becoming more of a flooding threat as the tornadic potential dissipated.
Jefferson County Storm Goes Tornadic
After sitting at McDonald's, the popcorn storm in Jefferson County became stronger and became tornado warned. We traveled east on I-94 and landed in the city of Dousman. We were positioned on the northeast side of the storm that transitioned into a supercell and was exhibiting signs of a hook on radar. At this time, the supercell was spitting out numerous lightning strikes. The lightning became close and one strike hit in a field nearly 100 yards away from the car. We traveled east and got into an open spot to view the southeastern side. The updraft part of the storm was to our north as the RFD/flanking line passed over us and moved east.
This supercell produced the 3rd largest hailstone in Wisconsin history of 5.25 inches in diameter near our location in the cities of Dousman and Delafield in Waukesha County. The tornado threat diminished and the storm became a convective cluster that produced historic flooding across southern Wisconsin.
June 08, 2008 - Flooding Continues!
The day after, another complex of severe weather and heavy rain pounded the central and southern part of the state. The Fox River in downtown Waukesha was high causing roads and bridges to be closed due to the flooding.
Shortly, another complex of severe storms unleashed flooding rain. It was one of the worst flooding events to hit the city of Waukesha and other areas in southern Wisconsin.
June 27, 2010 - Lake Delton, Wisconsin Flood Aftermath
It had been 2 years since the Lake Delton tragedy had occurred on the morning of June 9, 2008. Due to heavy rain and flooding, a raging water channel had formed and poured 600 million gallons of water from Lake Delton downstream into the Wisconsin River. The flood caused sections of Highway A to be washed away along with trees and houses. I had an opportunity to visit the Lake Delton area where houses were unfortunately lost and documented the area that has since been rebuilt.