Crawford Co. emergency responders put action plan into effect during severe storms

By  | 

PRARIE DU CHEIN, Wisconsin (KCRG) The Crawford County Emergency Management Agency in Wisconsin says it had to put its action plan into play Thursday night because of flash flooding that made roads impassable in Prairie du Chein.

Crawford County's Emergency Management Director, Jim Hackett, says damage throughout the county is extensive.

"Numerous roadways and state highways were shut down from mudslides and washouts," he said.

In the City, cleanup efforts at the Walmart parking lot are still underway after flooding and mud remain there, and homes behind the store are significantly affected as well.

“Residents were unable to leave their homes because it was washed out - driveways, private roads and township roads," he added.

Hackett says emergency management officials worked throughout the night and advised people to stay home.

"The city of Prairie du Chien, during the storm, considered evacuating the East side of the city because of the extreme rain coming through, and it was starting to jeopardize the safety of the people in their houses. They felt because of the time frame of it coming up so fast to shelter in place, and they put together four man strike teams and checked on the welfare of people during this," said Hackett.

At one point, phone lines went down and all communication was lost besides 911. He says they were prepared for that though.

"We have cell phones at all of our dispatch stations, so they immediately switched to cell phones. We utilized our ‘code red system’, so it automatically calls people and sends text messages so they'll be able to alert the whole county that the system is down, so nobody is trying to call. If they needed help they knew to call 911," Hackett said.

It pings off a cell phone tower to send notifications to residents throughout the County. They also use it for tornado warnings.

Hackett says response went well, but now they're focused on cleanup

“Damage assessments are still rolling in. Our most recent one was right around $1.5 million in damage, for public only not private," he said.