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Sept. 21 rainstorm dumps 4.5” on Colfax, 8.5” at Lake Wissota

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The September 21 rainstorm that closed roads and washed out culverts in West Central Wisconsin dumped 4.5 inches of rain on Colfax and 8.5 inches at Lake Wissota.

According to Rand Bates, Colfax director of public works, the rain gauge at the wastewater treatment lagoons registered 4.5 inches of rain Thursday morning, September 22.

Dustin Binder of the Dunn County Highway Department said there was no major road damage in Dunn County and no road closures.

The only damage in Dunn County was some minor shoulder damage in a few places, Binder said.

Next door in Chippewa County, however, state Highway 29 was closed to westbound traffic at Cadott.

Binder said he had never before heard of Highway 29 being closed.

In addition to about an inch and a half of rain falling in Colfax Wednesday morning, dime-sized hail pelted the village for a short time.

Thursday afternoon, Lisa Bragg-Hurlburt, director of the Colfax Public Library, reported that even with heavy rainfall overnight, the basement of the municipal building remained relatively dry.

Only one section of wall in the basement showed a little bit of dampness, she said.

The Village of Colfax spent almost $60,000 earlier this year on a drainage improvement project around the Colfax Municipal Building to prevent water infiltration into the building’s basement.

Last summer, after one particularly heavy rainstorm, Lisa Ludwig, now the retired director of the Colfax Public Library, had videotaped water gushing into the municipal building basement that “sounded like a waterfall.”

Other reported rain totals included 7.5 inches in Cadott, 6.68 inches in Chippewa Falls, 5.11 inches in Eau Claire, and 13.91 inches in Waseca, Minnesota.

LaCrosse reported 2.88 inches of rain.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department reported numerous washouts and road closings in Chippewa County the morning of September 22, including county Highway F from Highway X to Highway N in the Town of Wheaton.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department also reported that ten feet of the Canadian National railroad track had washed out near Stanley.

Water was reported over the road in a variety of places in Chippewa County. In the City of Chippewa Falls, water had been up over the road overnight on First Street, Bridge Street, Woodward Street, and Pine Needle Drive.

Hail more than an inch in diameter was reported in the southwest part of Chippewa County, according to the sheriff’s department report.

Numerous roads were reported closed in Eau Claire County as well, along with all state-funded ATV trails.

Clark County reported dozens of road closures and four school districts also had cancelled classes Thursday.