Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lake Delton, Wisconsin

Local resident Steve Zowin said the water drained like a bathtub. The Wisconsin Dells calls itself the "waterpark capital of the world," but on Monday, when torrential rains caused Lake Delton to tear through an embankment, ripping apart Highway A and draining into the Wisconsin River, that waterpark capital is now a disaster area. Resorts are seeing cancellations - Zowin said his business is down at least 75%, which is huge - and another resident said that fishing will be gone for at least the next five or six years from Lake Delton.
But there is more bad news for local residents. Yes, not only did they lose homes, not only are they losing business because of the empty lake. Yesterday they learned that Lake Delton is Not Covered by National Flood Insurance.
The homes would have been covered by the National Flood Insurance program since 1975, but the village didn't adopt a new floodplain map. The village lost its floodplain designation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and its eligibility to participate in the National Flood Insurance program.
So even though Lake Delton is a disaster area, it's not a Federal Disaster Area, and won't receive funds from FEMA. FEMA suspended the village from eligibility in the program seven years ago after the village failed to formally adopt an updated floodplain map called a Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM. Lake Delton's village clerk and engineer said the map was not adopted because of "gross inaccuracies" in how FEMA expanded the floodplain.

FEMA said the village had three years to appeal the map, but never did file such an appeal. There is no record of a formal map revision petition from the village; Lake Delton was suspended, making homeowners inelligiable for flood insurance. And in a classic case of government officials pointing fingers at each other, the people suffer. This flood is not a flood. This flood is a Catostrophic Event. Yet the people suffer.

As we look at weather events globally - I'm only talking about hurricanes, cyclones, torrential rains, all causing these catastrophic events - I have to wonder at how much we have contributed to weather gone wild. Even more, I am appalled at government's callous disregard for the citizens whose lives are devastated by these events. But when that disregard is further impaired by misjudgment, mismanagement, greed and just plain stupidity, I become angry.

There are solutions that the United States can implement. Frankly, with a serious recession upon us, we could look to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's example of programs put forth in The New Deal. I think we could specifically look at The CCC, or Civilian Conservation Corps, which put unskilled, unemployed young men to work building roads, levees, and repairing the infrastructure. Perhaps, if we stopped spending money we don't have on an illegal war in Iraq, we might get to spend some of it on our failing infrastructures at home.

We've got a clear choice between Barack Obama and John McCain. McCain is more of the "heckuva job, Brownie" school of disregard. Obama will get things done.


Bradda said...

Cheney's behind all this somehow...

an average patriot said...

Man that's terrible. I would assume businesses on the lake are done for the year and hopefully they will have it back next year. Life is temporary and anything man made especially so. We who have been lulled into thinking nature is permanent are having a rude awakening. I am extremely attentive and sensitive paying attention to everything. nature is our life itself and it is running amok. I'll just shut up!

FranIAm said...

I feel bad when people loose homes and so forth, but apparently there was a lot of overdevelopment there (can't recall which blog I read that at - someone from Wisc.)and the dam had not been inspected for 14 years!

Thanks for coming by my blog and you have a great site here.

DivaJood said...

Bradda, ya think? Wouldn't put it past him to just pull the plug.

Jim, nature run amok or not, that they just ignored asking for an appeal on the map in question is astonishing. Through negligence, an entire community (overbuilt or not) is without help.

Franiam, I've been to the area so many times, and have a love/hate - it is great bicycling country with lung-busting hills and gorgeous scenery; overbuilt with tacky shops and resorts in sharp contrast to what nature created. And that the dam hadn't been inspected in 14 years fits right in with the fact that the city officials let the town become ineligiable for FEMA insurance.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

As crass as this sounds, they will have their lake back in a year, maybe less. Yes, it's going to take time to get the fishing back. That wasn't exactly what was holding their economy up.

The reasons (and finger pointing for years) that they lost flood insurance, should result in a flood of lawsuits against every Government agency involved.

"I think we could specifically look at The CCC, or Civilian Conservation Corps, which put unskilled, unemployed young men to work building roads, levees, and repairing the infrastructure. "
You're Kidding! My God, the first person to try that would be sued for "forced slave labor", "racial discrimination," "Sexual harassment", "hate crimes"........

And all your suggest does is make sense! "Spoiled!" my parents called it.

DivaJood said...

TUA, in the face of an epic Recession, a re-designed CCC would make a lot of sense. I mean, really, if we stopped spending all that money we don't have in Iraq, we could put it to good use rebuilding our failing infrastructure.

an average patriot said...

I am really sick of trying to point it out to people and listening to McCain lier and snivel to continue this lying and self interest but no one of consequence cares about average Americans or our prosperity only their own selfish interest and taking what they can from what is left of our society. It is part of the end of a normal life cycle of a society and remember we are taking the planet with us this time. No pessimism or angst just reality. Just relax, take care, and stay in touch!

DivaJood said...

Ah, Jim, it is the wet season, to be sure. And what's a few boat slips among friends, eh?