In June 2008, heavy rain caused severe flooding across southern Wisconsin. The floods were aggravated by saturated soils that persisted from unusually wet antecedent conditions from a combination of floods in August 2007, more than 100 inches of snow in winter 2007-08, and moist conditions in spring 2008. The flooding caused immediate evacuations and road closures and prolonged, extensive damages and losses associated with agriculture, businesses, housing, public health and human needs, and infrastructure and transportation.
Record gage heights and streamflows occurred at 21 U.S. Geological Survey streamgages across southern Wisconsin from June 7 to June 21. Peak-gage-height data, peak-streamflow data, and flood probabilities are tabulated for 32 USGS streamgages in southern Wisconsin. Peak-gage-height and peak-streamflow data also are tabulated for three ungaged locations.
Extensive flooding along the Baraboo River, Kickapoo River, Crawfish River, and Rock River caused particularly severe damages in nine communities and their surrounding areas: Reedsburg, Rock Springs, La Farge, Gays Mills, Milford, Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Janesville, and Beloit. Flood-peak inundation maps and water-surface profiles were generated for the nine communities in a geographic information system by combining flood high-water marks with available 1-10-meter resolution digital-elevation-model data. The high-water marks used in the maps were a combination of those surveyed during the June flood by communities, counties, and Federal agencies and hundreds of additional marks surveyed in August by the USGS. The flood maps and profiles outline the extent and depth of flooding through the communities and are being used in ongoing (as of November 2008) flood response and recovery efforts by local, county, State, and Federal agencies.