1942 – Spring Valley Flood

On the evening of September 17, 1942, after a day of heavy rain, water began rolling through the streets of Spring Valley, in Pierce Co. The village, strung out along the Eau Galle River in a deep valley, hadĀ been inundatedĀ before, but this was no ordinary flood. By 11:30p.m., water in the streets was 12 to 20 feet deep, flowing at 12 to 15 miles an hour, and laden with logs, lumber, and dislodged buildings. Throughout the early morning hours of Sept. 18th, village residents became trapped in their homes or were carried downstream as buildings were swept off foundations and floated away. One couple spent the night chest-deep in water in their living room, holding their family dog above the water and fending off floating furniture. The raging torrent uprooted and twisted the tracks of the Northwestern Railroad like wire, and electricity and drinking water were unavailable for several days. Miraculously, there were no deaths or serious injuries. [Sources: Spring Valley Sun, Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8, 1942; Dorie Haugen and Doug Blegen, "Spring Valley, Wisconsin" at www.pc-4-fun.com/springvalley.html]