It is wonderful to have the sunshine! We have had enough rain for a while. That is clearly an understatement. Our forecast is dry through Tuesday and we need the break. Numerous rivers are still above flood stage. The Fox River in Waukesha and Kenosha counties. The Rock River, Crawfish, and Bark Rivers in Jefferson county. These rivers will stay above flood stage the next few days, but thankfully only minor flooding is expected.
I want to take you through the day on Thursday as the wild weather unfolded. I was actually encouraged early on Thursday because the clouds and rain came in during the morning. I thought that this would be enough to keep much of the severe weather at bay. That clearly did not happen as the warm front stalled right over our area on Thursday evening. I was off on Thursday, but was called in when the tornado watch was issued. Jeremy and Sally were already on the air when I arrived at the station and I thought it would be great to get out in the elements.
Photojournalist Bob Palmer and I hopped in a news car and made our way north toward Ozaukee county where a tornado warning was issued. We never made it that far. Heading north on I-43, we ran into a torrential downpour and decided that flooding may be a bigger story than the tornado threat. Visibility was almost zero in the heavy rain and we took the Silver Spring exit and went south on Port Washington road toward the railroad tracks where flooding had occurred a week earlier. Port Washington was already closed at the railroad tracks with a car stalled in about 3 feet of water.
I have been through two hurricanes and have never experienced rain as heavy as Thursday evening. Water was streaming down Port Washington and surrounding businesses creating a river that eventually flowed over I-43. We were helpless as numerous cars drove into the flooded interstate only to get stalled. The water continued to rise to about 4-5 feet. It was then that we witnessed a Glendale police officer rescuing a mother and child from the car under the railroad tracks on Port Washington road. The officer kept his cool the whole time and calmly placed the child in his squad car. His squad car ended up being stalled in the rising waters and had to be pushed out by another police SUV.
I truly felt sorry for the motorists who got stranded, but it is a good reminder to never drive into flooded roads. You never know how deep the water until it is too late. Take a look at a few of the pictures I took of the floods.
Look at how high the water is. It is almost to the rooftops of some of the cars. You can see a few of the drivers standing on top of their cars. I truly hope that everyone can learn from this past week and always take the weather seriously.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.