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Update from Mayor Rhodes-Conway's 4:00 p.m. press conference

We are aware that the power outages have plagued MG&E and the City are not over. This report is to serve as a recap of the day at this point.
City staff from thirteen departments worked throughout the day in conjunction with the county exec and his team who worked on emergency cooling centers. Governor Evers was on call throughout the day and was actively involved.
This is what emergency preparedness is all about, we drill for crisis – we hope we never have them but we’re ready when we do.
Our downtown library which never lost power, hosted more than 60 visitors from The Beacon day shelter. They enjoyed sandwiches and water donated by local businesses.
Cooling facilities:

The Kohl Center closed at 3:30 p.m.
The Coliseum will be open overnight as a cooling center starting at 5 p.m.
If the public needs transportation to The Coliseum, Metro will establish bus pick up spots and a schedule and post it on the city website, metro’s website and city social media.
Dane County Humane Society will take care of any pets overnight while those in need of the overnight shelter stay at the Coliseum. People can drop off their pets until 7 p.m. at the Dane County Humane Society.
Food Safety
Throw refrigerated or frozen food if:

  • Food was in a non-running refrigerator for more than 4 hours
  • Food has an unusual odor, color or texture
  • Frozen food has thawed
    Air quality:
    While the air quality index is still in the green, it is approaching the yellow level. The elevated level that we are seeing is most likely attributed to the weather as the smoke from the fire was limited in duration.

    As you heard earlier today, Madison Fire needed to use firefighting foam for the blaze. That foam is often associated with the contaminants known as PFAS. It is unclear whether the foam used did actually contain PFAS and it is being tested. In the meantime, there were immediate steps taken to lessen the spread of the water and foam, and there is intensive remediation occurring now.
    Two environmental engineering firms contracted by ATC and MG&E are working at the scene and have removed hundreds of gallons of water from the storm sewer in two different areas. The consulting firms are working in collaboration with the City and DNR. The water removed will be tested immediately. Additional barriers have been installed to curtail additional water run-off.
    There will additionally be soil removal as part of the remediation as soon as possible. We will continue to work with all the parties on this issue, which we of course take very seriously.
    Stay cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings. If you need a cool place to stay, cooling centers include libraries, Madison Senior Center, and the Coliseum.
  • Limit outdoor activity.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Never sit in a parked car or leave a child or pet in a parked car.
    Stay hydrated
  • Drink more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid alcohol and liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family and pets are drinking enough water.
    Stay connected
  • Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.
  • Regularly check on friends, loved-ones, and neighbors either face-to-face or via telephone.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @CityOfMadison, and visit our website for more information:


  • Katie Crawley, 608-335-7071