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Project History

Several historical floods occurred in the West Fork Kickapoo and Coon Creek Watersheds from approximately 1880-1957. A number of dams, including the five dams being analyzed in this project, were installed to reduce flooding and prevent further loss of life, crops, livestock, and property. 


Summary of Rainfall Event


  • Intense rainfall began falling in southwest Wisconsin at 9:00pm on August 27, 2018. Rainfall continued for six to seven hours, until approximately 4:00am on August 28, 2018.

  • As a result of this rainfall, two dams in West Fork Kickapoo Watershed and three dams in Coon Creek Watershed failed, resulting in significant damage and flooding downstream.

  • Four of the five dams over-topped, while the other dam saw significant auxiliary spillway flow.

  • Debris fields composed of mostly sand and rock covered wide areas of the valley floor for thousands of feet downstream.

  • Fortunately, no fatalities were reported as a result of the breaches.

Purpose of the

Watershed Planning

Watershed planning will evaluate alternatives to reduce flood damages in the Coon Creek and West Fork Kickapoo valleys and determine the final disposition of five flood control dams that failed after heavy rainfall on August 27-28, 2018

Community Involvement

Public participation and input is an important part of the decision making process for this project

Scientific Understanding

Using the expertise of scientists and agencies to understand what happened, and how to move forward

Cooperation and Consensus

Scientists, agencies, and the community coming together with the common goal of determining potential alternatives for action

Aerial Forest
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