Rain floods Waukesha city hall, closes library

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 12, 2017

Heavy rain in Waukesha Tuesday night into Wednesday flooded the basement of city hall and caused an all-day power outage at the library.

It also led to the Fox River overflowing in areas, pooling in the Bethesda City Park.

Officials are closely watching the river with more rain expected Wednesday night. The flood stage for the river is 6 feet but officials say Wednesday morning it was measured at 6.8 feet.

Meanwhile at city hall, they had to respond quickly to water in the basement, where dozens of computers were being stored.

"The staff that's been here a really long time says this is the worst they've ever seen it," said Kevin Lahner, the city administrator in Waukesha.

He says they believe the storm drains became overwhelmed with the volume of water from the storm, leading to flooding in the boiler room and a storage area near the IT department.

"Our IT staff had to move 41 computers from these shelves that were getting ready to be deployed to our various staff members," Lahner said. "Thankfully we think they are saved."

The public library had to close because of a power outage. A post on Facebook says all programs for Wednesday were canceled.

But the rain wasn't all bad. Roxanne Gomez said she was looking forward to catching more fish with the higher water levels near the Saratoga Mill dam.

"Once it calms down after a big rain, a lot of the fish come out," she said.