Flood Recovery Continues

See the story in photos

A broad swath of severe weather moved across northwestern Wisconsin on July 11, 2016, heavily impacting eight counties. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest sustained damage in Ashland, Bayfield and Sawyer counties. Rainfall totals ranged between 9-13 inches during a six-hour timespan causing severe flash flooding that damaged roads, bridges and trails. The Forest sustained an estimated $15 million of damage from the storm.

The Forest immediately responded to the storm event and began making emergency repairs to restore critical thoroughfares and access to permanent residents who rely on Forest Service roads.

By November 2016, more than 400 miles of roads and trails were repaired. Many of these repairs were emergency repairs that will be permanently repaired in the coming years.

Since the July 2016 event, the Forest has been working with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division to complete the permanent repairs. Currently, there are eight portions of roads closed where emergency repairs were not possible given the size and scope of damage. There is a closure order in place as well as berms and signage notifying visitors of the closure. 

Through coordination with the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division a full list of repairs and a tentative construction timelines has been put together. Click here to see the list. The bulk of the work will take place in the next three years.

The Forest in coordination with the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division is also working to complete an environmental analysis for proposed activities to change access to Forest Road 383 (also known as Snake Road/Trail), Forest Road 150 and Trail 25. The analysis will also cover river bank restoration in three locations along the Marengo River.

Public Input Wanted

The public scoping period for the project began May 14, 2018. The public is asked to submit comments for the proposed projects by June 15. All of the documents for this project can be viewed at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53743. Comments may also be submitted at that location.