The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Water Blogged

So, how bad is it, you ask?

Here in Wisconsin, we have a distinct way of telling when a natural disaster is serious: when the Interstates are closed, it's a disaster.

We've officially reached that point in southeastern Wisconsin. Interstate 94 west of state Highway 83 is completely closed, due to flooding in several different lakes in the area (Nagawicka, Nemahbin, Nashotah and Silver). What's truly shocking is where WIDOT has had to route traffic to get around the flooding. Because the most logical choice, state Highway 16 to the north, is also having flooding issues, they have routed the detour down Highway 83 into Mukwonago (which, by the way, is also having flooding issues), then over to I-43 South.

The rest of the detour? Let me quote the report on WIDOT's Incident Alert webpage: "I-43 SB (southbound) to I-39/90 NB (northbound) to Madison." For those of you who aren't familiar with the state, I-43 and I-39/90 intersect just outside of Beloit, Wisconsin – which is about two miles north of the Illinois state line.

That might not sound like much, but consider that I-43 is 15 miles south of I-94 on Highway 83, and that the 83 exit in Mukwonago is 43 miles from the intersection of 43 and 39/90. And, as if THAT wasn't enough, the Beloit Interchange with I-43 is 47 miles South of the Badger Interchange outside Madison, where I-90 and I-39 meet up with I-94.

That is, conservatively, a 105-mile detour to go 47 miles, because of flooding.

And that, my friends, is the definition of a natural disaster.