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District 12

Alder Barbara Vedder

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Alder Barbara Vedder

Contact Information

Home Address:

2314 E Dayton St

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

District 12 Blog

Flooding - Fall Leaves/Yard Waste Collection

October 4, 2019 9:54 AM

Hi Neighbors, 

Please stay safe during raining and flooding session. Below are the some updates on flooding and fall leaves yard waste collection.

Wish all of you a great weekend! 


Best regards,

Alder Syed Abbas 


Next Flooding Threat: Saturday

City engineers expect Lake Monona to crest today around the 100-year flood elevation following the rain that came Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Additional rain, forecast for Saturday, is likely to bring Lake Monona water levels at or slightly above the 100-year flood elevation. A significant lowering of Lake Monona water level prior to Saturday's rain is not likely.

Urban flash flooding is not a concern through Friday evening. However, the forecast will be monitored for Saturday, Oct. 5. The National Weather Service expects 0.25-0.75 inches of rain in Madison on Saturday, Oct. 5. Even sustained moderate rains in the East isthmus could cause flash flooding at the current lake and river levels.

Lake levels on Oct. 3, 2019

Lake Mendota

  • o Current elevation: 851.82 feet
  • o Up 0.37 feet from Oct. 2, 2019, up 0.84 feet since Oct. 1, 2019
  • o 0.98 feet below the 100-year flood (which is 852.80 feet)
  • o 0.92 feet below historic high (Historic High is 852.74, June 6, 2000)

 Lake Monona

  • o Current elevation: 847.65 feet
  • o Up 0.15 feet from Oct. 2, 2019, up 0.67 since Oct. 1, 2019
  • o 0.05 feet below 100-year flood (which is 847.7 feet)
  • o 0.88 feet below the historic high (which is 848.53 feet, Sept. 6, 2018)


Before Saturday

Residents or businesses located in the low-lying areas of the east isthmus and near east side should prepare their property for potential flash flooding. One option would be to fill sandbags at one of the City's sandbag locations:

  • Engineering Service Building, 1600 Emil St.
  • Olbrich Park Secondary Boat Launch Parking Lot, 3402 Atwood Ave.
  • Olin Park Parking Lot, 1156 Olin-Turville Court
  • Spring Harbor Park Parking Lot, 5417 Lake Mendota Dr.
  • Tenney Park Beach Parking Lot, 1254 Sherman Ave.
  • Thut Park, 2630 Nana Way
  • Warner Park Beach Parking Lot, 1101 Woodward Dr


Residents should bring their own shovel to load sand bags. Visit the City's flooding website for sandbag information and how to fill and place sandbags properly.

Barricades remain at most low-lying intersections most prone to urban flash flooding again in case they are needed on Saturday. However, all roads and major paths are currently open.


Other reminders



Fall Leaves/Yard Waste Collection has been started on Monday, September 30

The City of Madison Streets Division is collecting curbside leaf and yard waste collection for the fall on Monday, September 30th. 

What is "Leaves and Yard Waste"?

Yard waste includes:

  • Leaves, weeds, garden trimmings, and other leafy plant debris.
  • Twigs less than 18" long.
  • Pumpkins, crab apples, pine cones, etc.


When to Place Leaves and Yard Waste to the Curb

Residents have two options to learn when they should place yard waste to the curb for pick up.

Option 1: View the Map

Go to the Streets Division's yard waste website,, and click the " Pickup Schedule" button.

The button links to an interactive map of Madison that shows crews are working, and which neighborhoods should place yard waste out for pickup.

Once on the map page, enter your address into the top left corner. This will zoom the map into your immediate area.

If your neighborhood is shaded green for "Pickup Pending," you should get yard waste out for collection because crews will be around soon to pick up what is out.

The online map is updated at the end of each workday.  Residents who use the map should check it regularly to learn when to place material out for collection.


Option 2: Call the Hotline

A recorded hotline is available to hear collection time estimates to determine when to place yard waste to the curb. The recording also details leaf and yard waste collection rules. The number is 608-267-2088. The hotline is updated weekly.


How to Place Yard Waste for Collection

Do not place leaves and yard waste in the street. Pile leaves and yard waste on the terrace or at the road edge.

Keep piles four feet from obstructions, such as utility poles and fire hydrants.

Do not mix brush and yard waste together. These are separate collection operations and they are processed differently. Yard waste piles mixed with brush will not be collected.

Yard waste and leaves can be piled loose on the terrace or road edge. Residents can place a tarp over the leaf piles to prevent them from blowing into the street.

Residents can also use in compostable paper lawn bags, or plastic bags, to prevent leaves and yard waste from blowing into the street. Compostable paper bags are easier for crews to collect, so if you elect to bag leaves please choose the large paper bags that are available at most major retailers. While plastic bags will work, but crews may need to slit the bags open to dump out the leaves. And they need to leave the plastic bags behind at the curb since there is not room in their trucks for empty bags.  All bags should be left open at the top so crews can identify their contents.


Collection Opportunities

The Streets Division has a goal to provide each residence at least three collection opportunities in the fall, depending on what weather conditions allow.

When collection begins on Monday, September 30, crews will continue to cycle through the city again and again until winter weather requires crews to move to snow and ice control operations.

In order for residents not to miss their collection opportunities, it is important that they monitor the Collection Schedule map or call the collection hotline to be sure material is curbside in time for pickup.


Keep Streets Leaf-free 

Leaves and yard waste contain phosphorus. When it rains, water flows through leaf piles in streets creating a phosphorus rich "leaf tea" that travels through storm drains to our lakes. The excess phosphorus leads to toxic algae blooms, low oxygen levels, and green murky water in our lakes - none of which are good for animals living in the water or those who use our lakes for recreation.

Plus, leaf and yard waste piles can wash into the storm drains and clog them, which can lead to street ponding.


Drop-off Sites

In addition to using the curbside collection service, Madison residents can bring their leaves and yard waste to any of the three yard waste drop-off sites. 

The sites are open seven days a week from 8:30am to 4:30pm and until 8:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those hours will remain in effect until Sunday, December 8. 

The yard waste sites are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd on the southwest side, 4602 Sycamore Ave on the east side, and 402 South Point Rd. on the far west side.  The drop-off sites are for Madison residents only, and proof of residency is required in order to use the site.


Additional Information

There are multiple opportunities to learn more about proper yard waste management.

Residents can consult this brief guide about other ways to protect our lakes by keeping the streets leaf-free.

The Ripple Effects website has detailed information about leaf management and other important storm water issues.  On the Ripple Effects website, you can sign up to receive text or email alerts on when the street gutter should be raked in advance of a rainstorm to prevent a releasing nutrients into the storm water system.

Residents can also go to the Streets Division yard waste website, Collection rules, the pickup schedule map, and a short video about the yard waste collection process can all be found there.

Residents can contact the Streets Division office that services their neighborhood to answer questions they may have about yard waste collection and the drop-off sites.  Residents east of S. Park Street, and that includes the isthmus, can call the east side Streets Division at 608-246-4532 and residents west of S. Park Street can call the west side Streets Division at 608-266-4681. 

Additional information regarding leaf and yard waste collection, the drop-off sites, and other solid waste services can be found on the Streets Division website,

For additional information contact:

Bryan Johnson at 608-267-2626

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