What a year, eh? The RiverTown newsroom looked back on 2020 to compile lists of the most important news and sports stories covered by the Star-Observer and Republican Eagle. Check back to Top 10 Stories of 2020 over the next few days to see what made the cut.
Flash flooding claimed a life, damaged roads and caused power outages across western Wisconsin in June 2020.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Pierce County and southeastern St. Croix County 4:30 p.m. June 29 until 10 a.m. June 30 after more than 8 inches of rain in some parts.
Flooding occurred along the Rush and Trimbelle rivers. Areas experiencing high, rushing waters included Ellsworth, Baldwin, Bay City, El Paso, Diamond Bluff, Beldenville, Martell, Esdaile and Hager City.
U.S. Highway 63 at 535th Street in Martell was closed from 6:55 a.m. to 3:58 p.m. Monday. Local residents said the water briefly was higher than in 1965, the year of the Great Flood that lasted for days.
Several families had to move out of their residences following the flooding in Martell.
“From what locals have said that this is the worst they have ever seen,” Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said at the time. “We are very fortunate that no one was hurt during this flooding."
St. Croix County couldn’t say the same. One death was reported at 5:15 a.m. Monday when a vehicle was swept off St. Croix County Highway E near Highway 63 Baldwin township. According to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, Gary J. Parent, 70, Emerald, was southbound when his vehicle entered floodwaters on the roadway. He lost control of his vehicle and went into the ditch. The vehicle filled with water and became submerged.
Both Pierce and St. Croix counties issued a barrage of road and lane closures. Waters continued to cover many roads well into the night and into Tuesday morning.