Worst flooding in Darlington, Wisconsin, since major flood in 1993

Published: Mar. 15, 2019 at 8:47 AM CDT
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Darlington officials told KCRG sister station WMTV the last time the city saw this much flooding was in 1993 when the Pecatonica River crested at 18.2 feet.

“This is the worst flood that we’ve had since then,” said Darlington Police Chief Jason King. “Darlington’s major flood level is 16 feet and we’ve already exceeded that now.”

Chief King says since 1993 many businesses along Main Street participated in flood mitigation efforts.

“We’re hoping that the damage and the actual effects that it could have on businesses and residents will be minor,” King said.

Elevating storefronts, equipping shops with flood shields, and filling basements with gravel are ways the businesses have adapted.

“The water doesn't flow the same way it doesn't back up the same way that it used to,” said King. “While we have a tendency to want to compare to what happened back then, we really haven't had a major flood event since all of these mitigation efforts.”

Susanne Chambers, owner of the Pizza Pantry, says her basement has been flooded several times.

“We’re all kind of nervous for what’s going to happen,” Chambers said. “It’s kind of a scary situation for us, we just don’t know what we have to do next.”

Kyla Hayes, an employee for Bronze and Polish, says she’s never seen the water come this close to the door of the salon.

“If the road is closed we probably won’t be open because our clients can’t get here,” said Hayes.

Chief King hopes the river will crest Thursday night and flood waters begin to recede.