We knew the last days of August 2018 in the Driftless were going to be bad.
It had rained for days. The ground was saturated. Our rivers were at flood stage. Parts of Dane County had flooded the week before, the bridge at Black Earth was gone, and a man had lost his life.
And still it rained.
During the night of August 27, people living in lower ground evacuated or were rescued. Several dams failed or were breached. Coon Valley, Viola, Bloomingdale, Ontario suffered almost complete devastation.
Photo By: (Erik Daily)
After the water receded, I visited the flood zone. Town after town was knee-deep in mud and muck. Personal belongings were strewn everywhere—a dining chair in a street, a picnic table in a tree. The ballfields were mud holes. Farms, homes, and streets were under water. Concrete heaved in parking lots. Bridges were washed away.
No one could see this type of ruin without feeling moved to help.
Everywhere I went, people were talking about the floods. We needed to talk, to tell our stories.
This is how the Stories from the Flood project came into existence. At the Driftless Writing Center we are dedicated to our communities and to helping people tell their stories. We see the resilience and the compassion with which neighbors help neighbors.
We want you to know these stories.
Please help us make them come alive.
Written by: Lisa Henner Video by: Tim Hundt
Learn more about Stories from the Flood and find out how to share your story online here.
Driftless Writing Center, Inc. provides literary and educational opportunities, readings and discussions, writing classes and workshops, and an outlet for presentation of original writing by its members and the community.