The public is encouraged to join the City in the next phase of its Watershed Studies, by attending upcoming public information meetings which will focus on data collected from residents.

For the first time, engineers will share the results of watershed modeling, which was created from summer 2018 flood reporting and field data. The models will show areas that require system or watershed-wide changes to support different amounts of rainfall.  A watershed is an area of land where precipitation that falls on it, drains to a common waterway, such as a stream or lake. The watershed acts like a funnel by collecting all the water within the area and channeling it to a single point.

During the upcoming meetings, City Engineering staff will also cover the next steps toward possible solutions to reduce flooding potential. City engineers will ask the public for review of the flood modeling mapping for their area and provide feedback.

“We continue to need public input to confirm that our models match what residents living in the areas experienced,” Assistant City Engineer Greg Fries said. “Public input is also important as a two-way conversation to discuss potential changes needed to reduce flood potential in the future.”

This is part of the Engineering Division’s work toward finding possible solutions to flooding in the City. City Engineering is focusing on several watersheds on the City’s west side first, and then will focus on east side watersheds in 2020 and 2021.

In April 2019, City Engineering hosted the first round of public information meetings for the following watersheds: Madison Pheasant Branch, Spring Harbor, Strickers/Mendota and Wingra West. The meetings were focused around education, the plan for the Watershed Studies and provided answers to residents from presentations and question and answer panels. In August 2019, City Engineering lead nearly 30 focus group meetings in neighborhoods, hardest hit by flooding, to meet with residents in person to discuss what they’ve experienced to compare with the drainage models engineers are using to propose updates with.

Upcoming February and March meetings will share what data was collected during the first public information meetings, focus groups and identify areas that may be proposed for projects to improve flooding conditions.

Meetings are scheduled for the following watersheds:

  • Spring Harbor:
    6:30-8:30 p.m., Feb. 24, 2020, Muir Elementary School Gymnasium/Cafeteria, 6602 Inner Drive, Madison, Wis.
  • Strickers/Mendota:
    6-8 p.m., March 9, 2020, Asbury United Methodist Church, 6101 University Ave., Madison, Wis.
  • Wingra West:
    6-8 p.m., March 16, 2020, Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd., Madison, Wis.
  • Madison Pheasant Branch:
    6-8 p.m., March 19, 2020, Blackhawk Church, 9620 Brader Way, Middleton, Wis.

*Wingra West Meeting will be livestreamed. Check back for link or on the City of Madison Engineering Division Facebook Page .

Stay connected with flooding resources:
Listen to Everyday Engineering Podcast episode on Watershed Studies 
Listen to Everyday Engineering Podcast episode on basement drainage 
Listen to Everyday Engineering Podcast episode on historic flooding  
Learn about easy ways to flood-proof your home
Learn about Flash vs. Lake Level flooding or high lake level flooding 
Learn about flood insurance
Explore a Story Map about Flash Flooding Resilience in Madison 
City Engineering Facebook Page 
City Engineering Twitter