Governor Walker to tour flood damage in southwestern Wisconsin

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Latest on flooding along rain-swollen rivers in Iowa and Wisconsin (all times local):

5 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker plans to tour flood damage in a southwestern Wisconsin village.

Walker's office announced Friday that the governor would visit Gays Mills on Saturday afternoon.

The village of about 500 people sits on the Kickapoo River. Dozens of homes in the village were damaged by flooding in 2007 and 2008. The floods drove part of the village to relocate to higher ground.

WXOW-TV reports ( ) flooding over the last few days has left Gays Mills' downtown underwater, forcing village officials to reschedule the annual Apple Fest.

State emergency officials said Friday that state Highways 131 and 171 in Gays Mills were closed due to water over the roadway and a washout.


3 p.m.

Sandbagging is underway in the southern Minnesota town of St. Clair, where the Le Sueur River continues to rise after torrential rains earlier this week.

Officials say the floodwaters have already far surpassed the levels they saw in 2010, and the river isn't expected to crest until Saturday at the earliest.

The floodwaters are threatening sewer lift stations, which officials say will likely cause basement flooding. The town's more than 800 residents have been encouraged to cover their drains, remove valuables from their basements, and not to flush their toilets or run water.

While more than 7 inches of rain fell on St. Cloud from Wednesday night into Thursday, the main problem is that even more fell upstream in the Waseca area, and that water is now making its way downriver.


10:50 a.m.

Authorities say a second person has died in the storms and flooding hitting western Wisconsin.

Vernon County sheriff's officials say 79-year-old Joseph Menne attempted to drive through floodwater on a road near his home on Thursday.

Investigators say he was in a pickup truck pulling a trailer that got stuck in six feet of water. The flood water eventually filled the pickup compartment. Menne was reported missing about 7 p.m. His body was found about two hours later.

The torrential rain and flooding also killed 53-year-old Michael McDonald in the same western Wisconsin county on Thursday, when his home slid down the side of a bluff and onto a highway.

The flooding and mudslides heavily damaged the small community where McDonald lived near the base of a bluff along the Mississippi River.


10:30 a.m.

Authorities in several eastern Iowa cities and counties are mobilizing resources to handle flooding from the rain-swollen Cedar River.

The river has already left its banks upstream, forcing evacuations in several communities upstream along its path through northeastern Iowa. More rain fell Thursday night and earlier Friday, and the National Weather Service says the flash-flooding threat remains high.

The weather service says more rain could change forecasts, and local officials say at least moderate flooding seems a certainty.

Just across the Mississippi River in southwest Wisconsin, residents of the tiny community of Victory are recovering from storms and flooding that caused one death. Authorities say local resident Michael McDonald died Thursday when his house slid onto state Highway 35.


6:30 a.m.

Residents of a tiny Wisconsin community along the Mississippi River are recovering after torrential rain and flooding ripped through the town and caused one death.

Heavy rain, flooding and mudslides have caused widespread damage in Victory, an unincorporated community in the Town of Wheatland. Authorities say 53-year-old resident Michael McDonald died after his house slid onto Highway 35 on Thursday.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears says the community has been devastated and torn apart by the flooding.

The landslides and flooding closed roads throughout the area and contributed to a train derailment in Crawford County. Although the storms have moved away, the National Weather Service extended a flooding warning for Crawford, Vernon and Richland counties through Friday morning.