We're sharing updates to help you stay informed about current conditions.
Update 4:40 p.m., Oct. 18, 2019:
The Engineering Division is monitoring lake levels and the potential to flood year round. To keep our community informed, we’re sharing a weekly update with you, and as frequently as needed, should a major rain event happen. We are not sending these to elevate concern, this is just a new communication option for us to keep you informed as flooding deeply impacted our community last summer, and may be top of mind when rain moves through our area.
The Yahara Lakes are managed by Dane County. Up-to-date information on lake levels can be found at the County’s Lake Levels Webpage.
Current Lake levels: Oct. 18, 2019
- Lake Mendota
- Current elevation: 851.66 feet
- Down 0.36 feet from last week
- 1.14 feet below the 100-year flood (which is 852.80 feet)
- 1.08 feet below historic high (Historic High is 852.74, June 6, 2000)
- Lake Monona
- Current elevation: 847.11 feet
- Down 0.32 feet from last week
- 0.59 feet below 100-year flood (which is 847.7 feet)
- 1.42 feet below the historic high (which is 848.53 feet, Sept. 6, 2018)
Currently, the lakes are all moving in the right direction after a relatively dry week. Monona remains above our risk elevation of 847.00, however we continue to move into a season where the risk of thunderstorm actively is low.
The weather forecast looks reasonably good with light rain forecast for Sunday and early next week, but not an all-day affair. If the forecast holds, this should not cause us flash flooding in the isthmus area. If, however, the rain event includes thunderstorm activity, low-lying areas on and adjacent to the Isthmus will be subject to increased risk of flash flooding due to the reduced capacity of the storm water system resulting from high lake levels.
We recommend you avoid parking in areas known to have flooded in the past when heavy rains are predicted. If flash flooding does occur do not drive into flooded areas.
Some areas of potential concern for flash flooding during intense rain events are show on our flood website:
The City of Madison Engineering Division released its plan for upcoming watershed studies public information meetings. The Division also posted a new interactive map for the community to keep updated on the progress in each watershed study. This is a continued effort to address areas hardest hit by flooding last summer.
To address these issues, the City is conducting large watershed studies. In 2019 – 2020, the City will focus on the eight watershed studies below. These studies will help the City identify existing problems, develop solutions, and prioritize improvements.
Interactive Watershed Map
To learn more about why flash flooding occurs, what a watershed study entails, and the City’s ongoing plan to build flooding resilience, please visit the Flash Flooding Resilience website.
Public Information Meetings
The City held four public information meetings explaining the watershed studies in late April 2019 – May 2019. To see the presentations from each meeting, click the watershed project pages below to learn more about progress being done in each watershed and for more information about upcoming meetings.
Watershed Study Areas
- Madison Pheasant Branch Watershed Study
- Strickers / Mendota Watershed Study
- Spring Harbor Watershed Study
- Wingra West Watershed Study
- Willow Creek Watershed Study
- Greentree / McKenna Watershed Study
- East Badger Mill Creek Watershed Study
- Dunn's Marsh Watershed Study
Watershed: How 30 Days Changed Madison Long-Term
Learn how 30 days of severe weather can have a long-term impact on our city.
Report Flooding & Damage
Report flooding and damage to private property or public lands in the City of Madison. We will use this information to improve our stormwater system to reduce flooding damages in the future.
- Report Damage to Trees
- Report Trees on Power Lines
Visit our Flood Prevention Tips website to learn more about what you can fix or maintain to prevent basement flooding.
During a Flood
- Sand & Sandbag Locations
Free sand and ready-to-fill sandbags are available to City of Madison residents. Video: How to Sandbag
- Need help with sandbags? Request help from volunteers
- Flood Preparation Checklist
- Flood Cleanup Resources
- Sandbag Collection
- Refuse & Large Item Pickup Information
- Dealing with a Sanitary Sewer Backup
Disaster Assistance Resources
- Free Legal Assistance
A toll-free legal hotline is available to victims of flooding. Individuals who were impacted by flooding may call the hotline at 877-947-5291.
- Disaster Loans for Businesses
City of Madison business owners may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Disaster Loans Fact Sheet
Hoja de Datos de Préstamos para Desastres
You can donate money or goods to Goodwill, Second Harvest Food Bank, and St. Vincent DePaul.