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District 19

Alder Keith Furman

Image of Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Contact Information

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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District 19 Blog

City Prepares for High Lake Levels and Council Issues Statement on Flood Event

August 22, 2018 6:34 PM

Here are some additional updates from today:

From the Mayor's Office:

City of Madison Prepares for Rising Lake Levels and Isthmus Road Closures

With the unprecedented amount of rain that fell this week in Dane County, lake levels are rising and will continue to do so. There is additional rain in the forecast for Friday. City staff are working on alternative traffic plans as the Isthmus travel options are limited.

Water is currently covering portions of East Johnson, Main Street near the Yahara River, and Mifflin near Livingston, and barricades are being erected. As water is released from Lake Mendota into the Yahara River and subsequently to Lake Monona, it has little place to go aside from up from storm sewers, and over the banks of the river and lake.

There are concerns that East Washington Avenue may be flooded early next week. If so, Williamson will become the alternate route for motorists traveling into and out of the downtown and Isthmus area, and parking restrictions will be necessary. As changes develop, updated information will be available at

City stormwater engineers are working closely with their counterparts at Dane County and the Department of Natural Resources to monitor the levels and be prepared. Motorists, residents, and businesses will all be affected. The recent rains are creating numerous hardships and understanding and cooperation of residents, motorists, and others is appreciated.

City officials will hold a press conference to discuss the lake levels, the planned traffic patterns, and precautionary measures such as available sandbags on Thursday.


From Council President:

Council President Baldeh Issues Statement on Flood Event

Common Council President Samba Baldeh, on behalf of the entire Common Council, expresses their sincere condolences for the loss of life and damage to properties because of Monday night's record-breaking thunderstorm that overwhelmed storm water drains.

The Governor and the County Executive have issued a state of emergency for Dane County and City staff continue to triage traffic and flooding issues across the City and assessing damages to public and private properties. Some streets will likely need to be reconstructed and it is anticipated that there will be more flooding over the next several days as lake levels, particularly Lake Mendota, are expected to rise another 3-6 inches.


Madison Metro
Madison Metro routes are running as safely as they can without major disruptions. Please check Metro's website at for regular updates.

Lake Levels
Dane County Emergency Management is coordinating flood preparedness efforts for communities expected to be impacted by these rising lake levels. The City has added East Johnson Street lane restrictions due to impending lake levels rising.

Road & Park Closures
For a list of updated City of Madison road and park closures, please visit:

Water Damaged Items & Collection
Residents in flood-impacted areas throughout Madison are encouraged to notify the Streets Division when water damaged items have been placed to the curb for collection. Residents should also follow collection guidelines for large items and the collection carts outlined below to make pickup efficient and safe. Streets Division crews will begin flood-related collection of large items and other refuse on Friday, August 24.

Crews will return to the flood damaged areas on Monday, August 27 to continue collecting water damaged material. Streets Division staff will monitor the volume of material set to the curb in these areas, and collection crews will remain in flooded areas after August 27 if the need remains.

When residents have removed items such as carpet or furniture from areas impacted by the flood, they should contact the Streets Division office that services their home.
Reports of flood-damaged items should be made online. Go to and choose the Refuse Collection option. Please choose "Request for Information" or "Missed Pickup" in the Request Type field of the contact form.

Residents without internet access can call the Street Division offices. Residents east of South Park Street, which includes the isthmus, should call 608-246-4532. Residents west of South Park Street should call 608-266-4681. If you call the offices after normal business hours, please leave a message on these lines with the location of the flood-damaged items so crews can be dispatched later.

Testing for bacterial contamination should be done after wells are disinfected and the chlorine has been flushed from the system. The Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) Lab performs water testing. Call (608) 243-0357 for a consultation on what is needed.

If you are a facility licensed by PHMDC (Restaurant, Grocery Store, Swimming Pool, Hotel, etc.), and are impacted by flooding, please call (608) 242-6515 if you have questions about proper clean-up or would like to speak to a Public Health Sanitarian.

211 - Property Owners with Flood Damage
Private property owners with damage are being asked to call 211.

Public Works Emergency Contact Information (pdf linked)

Again the Council's hearts go out to those affected by the floods. This has been a very dangerous and damaging storm. The loss of property is dwarfed by the loss of a life. 

Council Leadership and members of the Common Council also thank all of the city and county agencies and individuals who assisted residents and neighbors and saved lives during this flooding event. Their efforts are greatly appreciated and they are considered heroes by the Common Council.

For additional information, please contact me (


Alder Martin just shared some excellent information on her blog:

Beware of Door-to-Door Contractors During Flood Cleanup

The following is a message from Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection regarding unethical contractors after this week's storms and flooding. We've not heard any reports of these kinds of contractors approaching residents, but it is a good reminder to do research before starting any work.


MADISON – As homeowners begin to clean up damage caused by hours of heavy rainfall that triggered flooding in parts of southern Wisconsin early this week, they should beware of door-to-door contractors promising quick help at a great price.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is urging Wisconsin residents to be leery of promises made by these fly-by-night contractors (also known as "storm chasers"), as these operations have a history of doing subpar work for high prices or simply running off with a victim's money.

"Storm chasers know that affected homeowners in hard-hit communities may be enticed by great deals on cleanup or repair help, and they are banking on these homeowners jumping at the first offer of assistance they receive," said Michelle Reinen, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Turn them away and do your research to find a reliable contractor."

These teams come and go from an area without a trace, leaving consumers empty-handed and with no recourse for any work left unfinished or any damage they have done to a homeowner's property. They may pressure homeowners for upfront payments or increase their prices arbitrarily as they work.

Consumer Protection offers these tips for homeowners with storm damage:

Be wary of any contractor who knocks at your door. Call the police or sheriff's department to check them out.

Hire a contractor based on referrals. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations and ask contractors for references. Before you sign a contract, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection to see if we have received complaints about the business.

Try to get a local contractor. Be careful if local contractors are using outside subcontractors.

Get lien waivers from anyone you pay for home repairs. It is necessary to do this because if the person collecting the money does not pay the supplier or worker, a lien could be put on your property.

Get a written contract with a start and completion date and warranty information. Also, make certain that the contract states exactly what work is to be done and what materials are to be used. Never rely on a verbal commitment.

Have someone watch the work being done. Check with your local building inspector to see if the work requires a permit and make sure an inspector visits the job site before you provide final payment.

Request a copy of the contractor's certificate of liability insurance.

For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at, send an e-mail to or call the Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128. 


Here's a release from Clean Lakes Alliance:


On Monday evening, the Greater Madison area saw a record rainfall in a 24-hour period. As a result, lake levels have dramatically risen to near or over the 100 year flood-level mark. The latest information on how the rising water is affecting our lakes is as follows:

1) Public Health Madison Dane County has CLOSED ALL BEACHES due to elevated bacteria levels. 

2) Lake Levels are expected to rise at least one more inch in Lake Mendota, and three to six more inches in Lakes Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa as floodwaters continue to move through the Yahara chain of lakes. To get up-to-date lake levels, visit Infos Yahara.

3) Slow, No-Wake restrictions have been placed on all five lakes by Dane County until further notice.

4) Any boaters using the lakes should be advised to watch for floating debris including pier sections, tree branches, and other items dislodged due to high water.

5) Homeowners who live on the lake should secure or remove their pier sections or boats to prevent further damage as the lakes continue to rise.

Please continue to watch and follow us on social media for updated beach closures information.


Update from Mayor's Office as of 6:46pm:

Due to rising lake levels, City Traffic Engineering staff  are closing a portion of East Johnson Street this evening.  It will be closed from 1st Street to Baldwin.  Detours have been established, 1st  Street  to  East Washington Avenue to North Baldwin.

We are continuing to prepare  for the rising water and this is probably not the only closure we will be facing.  We encourage everyone to utilize for up to date information.


If there is anything I can do to help, feel free to reach out:

-Keith F

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