Pumps along Capital City Trail stolen

Oversize sandbags have been placed along the Capital City Trail near Madison's Monona Terrace in an attempt to protect the trail from flooding. Seven of the eight pumps helping keep the trail open were stolen.

Work on restoring the very popular Capital City Bike Trail near Monona Terrace faced a setback Tuesday night, when someone stole seven of eight pumps being used to pump out floodwater on the trail.

City officials said the pumps were set up in the section of trail from Broom Street to Blair Street.

The lack of pumping allowed water to rise to about 8 inches deep on the trail, officials said. The stolen pumps will be replaced.

As of Wednesday morning, one lane has reopened in each direction on East Johnson Street between North Baldwin Street and Fordem Avenue.

Metro Transit buses have now returned to East Johnson Street and Fordem Avenue in the flood area, including routes 2, 5, 10, 27 and 28.

All beaches remain closed on Madison’s lakes, while boat launches on Lake Mendota and three on Lake Monona are open. Slow, no-wake orders remain in effect.

Statewide, road closures have decreased as floodwaters subsided, but some highways are still closed due to high water.

The Interstate 39 southbound off ramps at Exits 87 and 85 are closed and the right lane of southbound I-39 just south of the Wisconsin River bridge is closed so water can be pumped out.

Highway 14 in Black Earth remains closed because of bridges being out, and Highway 22 in Montello remains closed at the Main Street bridge.

Floodwaters continue to flow down the Rock River in Rock County, and the river is expected to reach the major flood stage on Thursday at Lake Koshkonong.

Wisconsin Emergency Management is advising residents who’ve suffered flood damage to contact their county emergency management offices or call 211 by Monday, so a complete damage report can be sent to FEMA to get federal disaster assistance.

The damage assessment is expected to be completed next week, with the results allowing the state to determine which counties could qualify for federal help.

The process entails Gov. Scott Walker making a request to FEMA to come to Wisconsin to assess the damage, which could take place later this month.

FEMA then gets back to Walker for the governor to make a request to President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration, which would pave the way for potential individual assistance and public assistance. That request from Walker would most likely be made in October.

“While the process to seek federal assistance takes time, we encourage those homeowners and businesses impacted by the flooding to continue with cleanup, keep receipts and record damage,” said Lori Getter, spokeswoman for Wisconsin Emergency Management.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.