CLICK THE PHOTO TO VIEW SLIDESHOW
Areas of Vernon County received between 6.5 and 11 inches of rain on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19. They call it a “1,000-YEAR FLOOD.” It’s the standard to which they built the 20-plus flood-control dams in Vernon County. That standard is to withstand a flood that statistically may happen only once every 1,000 years. Those who built the county’s dams in the 1950s and 1960s did a pretty good job, because after dealing with the rain they received on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19, the dams in some cases withstood pressure two times greater than that for which they were designed. There have been bad floods in Vernon County stretching through history, but as far as recorded history, they only know of two other floods, the flood of 1951 and the flood of 1978, that rival the flood of 2007. And in places like Chaseburg and Gays Mills, the flood of 2007 takes the cake. Perhaps overall, countywide, it does as well. The magnitude of the Aug. 18-Aug. 19 flood waters might be something a meteorologist deals with, “only two or three times over their entire career,” and that’s covering an area of thousands of square miles. Seven people in Minnesota died because of the flooding. While there was no loss of life in Wisconsin, the damage totals are not yet fully tallied and are already at unbelievable levels. Vernon County’s totals are $24.8 million for public property and $8 million for agriculture. That’s $32.8 million and private property hasn’t even been totalled yet.
Adapting to the damaging effects of climate change, plants are gradually moving to where temperatures are cooler, rainfall is greater, f...