Kickapoo River at Gays Mills (Excerpt from SIR 2008-5235)
The Kickapoo River flows south through the community of Gays Mills in Crawford County (appendix 4). Gays Mills experienced a record-breaking flood in August 2007, just 10 months before the June 2008 flood (fig. 6). The community still had several houses pending buyouts and businesses that had not yet reopened (Wisconsin Recovery Task Force, 2008). In August 2007, the west part of downtown was more heavily flooded (James Chellevold, Village of Gays Mills, oral commun., August 2008); but in June 2008, most of downtown Gays Mills was flooded.
The modeled inundated area for Gays Mills was inaccurate in the downtown area, based on first-hand experience of James Chellevold and town residents (Village of Gays Mills, written commun. 2008) (appendix 4B). Similar to the La Farge inundation maps, the coarse resolution of the available 10-m DEM used to build the topographic base of the inundation map was not accurate enough to delineate city-block-sized areas of the downtown that were topographically above the flood-peak elevation (appendix 4B). For example, several houses in the downtown area of Gays Mills were not inundated but were completely surrounded. Residents reported returning to little to no flood damage and a line of flood debris circling their homes, indicating that the residences were not flooded. The high-water-mark elevations near the NWS flood-stage forecasting site on the Kickapoo River in downtown Gays Mills were about 0.5 ft lower than the NWS flood peak gage height (fig. 6).
The heavy flooding on the east side of Gays Mills may have been due to a flash flood from an unnamed small tributary that enters the Kickapoo River valley on the northeast side of town and flows along Hagar Hallow Road. Depending on the timing and location of rain cells, this tributary may have enhanced the flooding on the east side of town, where the water flowed down State Highway 131 to Park Street. This is the area of town that was not flooded in August 2007 (James Chellevold, Village of Gays Mills, oral commun., August 2008).
Air photo of downtown Gays Mills, looking east, June 10, 2008. Photo from Village of Gays Mills.
Appendix 4A. High-Water Mark Table (pdf) (excel) (shapefiles)
Appendix 4B. Flood-Peak Inundation Maps (pdf) (shapefiles)
Appendix 4C. Flood-Depth Maps (pdf) (grids)
Appendix 4D. Flood-Peak Water-Surface Profile (pdf)
Link to National Weather Service flood prediction site Kickapoo River at Gays Mills, Wis