La Crosse has several mapped floodplains associated with the Mississippi, Black, and La Crosse Rivers, Ebner Coulee, and State Road Coulee (Pammel Creek). The Mississippi and Black River floodplains are interconnected, and the La Crosse River can have flooding because of water backing up from the Mississippi and Black Rivers. The north side of La Crosse is the area primarily affected by the Mississippi, Black, and La Crosse River floodplains and can be predicted well in advance because of the nature of their large watersheds.
In the Ebner Coulee and Pammel Creek floodplains, flash-flooding is the primary concern. In Ebner Coulee, 2"-4" of rainfall in a short period of time can become a serious concern as the potential exists for water spilling from the banks of ditches and overflowing into areas south of Cass Street all the way to State Road.
Major floods along the Mississippi and Black Rivers have occurred in recent memory and include those in 1965, 1967, 1993, 1997, and 2001. Substantial damage occurred throughout the City in 1965, and it has been categorized as the Flood of Record. In 1978, extensive flooding occurred in the Ebner Coulee and Pammel Creek watersheds.
Information on whether your property is in the 100-year floodplain can be obtained by visiting City Hall and having someone from the Planning, Building Inspection, or Engineering Departments help you. Flood maps and other flood-related information such as Elevation Certificates for new development are available back to 2002 and may be available for earlier years.
Contact the Building and Inspections Department at (608) 789-7530 for further assistance.