Basic story is this: Heavy rains caused Lake Delton to overflow its banks and it circumvented a dam to keep the water from the lake from going into the Wisconsin River. The lake dug it's own channel, however, taking out a major county highway in the process. Once the path to the river was complete, the entire lake emptied out.
For those not familiar with the Dells, this is the major tourist lake in the Dells. It hosted the Tommy Barlett Ski Sky and Stage Show and also was a part of the Duck tours. Also, there are many hotels and resorts around the lake, including the Wilderness.
I included this info because it could have an effect on coaster parks like Mount Olympus and Timber Falls as attendance to the Dells could be affected by the loss of several resorts and attractions. Should be interesting to see which attractions are the true draw to the Dells. If it is the water parks that are the primary draw, this will be a negligible problem for Mount Olympus.
However the lake was six feet deep and fifteen at the dam. It is reparable
Im much more concerned with the loss to the area residents and buisnesses. They're sure to take a hit and many probably already have from the flooding.
Although it is a man-made lake created from a river kind of like Lake Schafer where Indiana Beach is.
Reading from one article, it looks like a few of the water skiers from the Tommy Bartlett show will be taking on new jobs at Cypress Gardens.
My subdivision has a lot that had a sinkhole form in the 80s because of an improperly constructed renention pond with a similar weakness, and the resulting underground flow was basically digging an ever-increasing hole through a natural "pipe" of softer soil. Luckily, they found and fixed that one before Bad Things (tm) happened.
*** Edited 6/12/2008 1:43:07 PM UTC by Brian Noble***
Yeah, this is definitely a freaky form of Mother Nature at work.
Except its a man made lake. :)
There won't be a quick fix for this one, we'll be very lucky to see the lake restored by next summer, even if they determine a method of doing it quickly.
What is really bad is the fact that none of those houses had any flood insurance - because they couldn't buy it! The city of Lake Delton had a chance to agree to the floodplain as set by the Army corp of engineers, and basically did nothing. It was stopped by developers, most notably Tom Diehl. Having a floodplain mapped out and noted by the city would have thrown up all sorts of development obstacles, because of the increased regulations and scrutiny that goes with building in a floodplain. So those homeowners could have bought flood insurance, and could have been protected. But here's the priceless moment - Tom Diehl is president of Tommy Bartlett's. He has "Buisness Interuption Insurance" in case of an unforseen calamity. However, his insurance is saying right now that they won't pay out because......... they should have had flood insurance to cover this.
They are building the crossovers since it will be at least 2-3 weeks before the water recedes enough to consider putting the northern bridge back into use - and even then they need to inspect it again.
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