La Crosse, Prairie du Chien brace as spring flooding spreads

Melting winter snowpack and springtime rains are causing major floods on the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin, with communities facing road closures and neighborhood evacuations as waters rise.

By Frederica Freyberg | Here & Now

April 26, 2023 • Southwest Region

FacebookRedditGoogle ClassroomEmail

The state of Wisconsin is under a state of emergency for major flooding risk. In Western Wisconsin along the Mississippi River, flood warnings remain in place with the water still rising.

In La Crosse, the river was forecast to crest on April 26 at 16 feet — four feet above flood stage – and above the high water mark set in 1969. The major flooding means at least one Interstate 90 exit could be closed to travel.

Down river in Prairie du Chien, evacuations of homes along Main Street were proceeding. Many streets in the city and one bridge over the Mississippi upstream closed as the water continued to rise.

The river is expected to crest near 24 feet by April 28 – two-and-a-half feet above the 1969 record.

Multiple people stand and crouch among piles of sand as they use shovels to fill sandbags next to a brick building.

Residents of Prairie du Chien fill sandbags as the community prepares for flooding along the Mississippi River to crest by April 29, 2023. (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

Tens of thousands of sand bags have been filled and placed in Prairie du Chien as residents try to keep flood waters at bay.

The major flooding is the result of record snowpack, followed by rainfall and saturated soil.

Statement to the Communities We Serve

There is no place for racism in our society. We must work together as a community to ensure we no longer teach, or tolerate it.  Read the full statement.