Weather Forecast


Friday night's storm brought a deluge

The Lakefront Park beach is closed after Friday night's rainfall washed much of the sand into the St. Croix River. The walkway built in 2011 by Zappa Brothers Excavating held firm.

Tree damage isn't all the Hudson-area experienced in the storms that swept through during the early morning of Friday, June 22, and again that night.

The storm that started after 8 p.m. dumped up to 4.5 inches of rain on Hudson, flooding many city streets and basements, especially in the downtown.

A video shot by Angela Fellrath from the doorstep of Agave Kitchen Friday night shows knee-deep water on Second Street at Walnut Street.

Fellrath, a part-time hostess at the restaurant, recorded the video on her cell phone at around 8 p.m. It shows florescent orange construction pylons floating past on the street, coming from the work zone at the former Dibbo's Hotel building half a block to the north on Second.

The Winzer Stube German Restaurant, located in the basement of a building on the east side of Second Street, was flooded and will be closed this week for cleaning. The closure means a loss of income for the employees and the restaurant.

"It's a sad thing to happen to everyone involved, even customers," owner Marie Schmidt said in announcing the temporary closing.

Tom Zeuli, the city's public works director, said the basements of some Locust Street businesses also were flooded. The block between Second and Third streets usually experiences flooding in heavy rainstorms.

Tom Madigan, a civil engineer and the owner of two Locust Street buildings, said Friday night's downpour was no ordinary rainfall. He characterized the amount of rain that fell as being in excess of a once-in-100-years event.

Madigan, who works for Foth Infrastructure and Environment, the consulting engineers for the city of Hudson, said most storm sewers are designed to handle rainstorms so heavy they occur once every five or 10 years.

"You couldn't afford it," Madigan said when asked what it would take to prevent future flooding in a similar storm. "It would take massive, massive underground pipe that would be millions and millions (of dollars), and would overwhelm the taxes of the community."


The floodwater washed away much of the Lakefront Park beach, which is closed until the city can replace the sand that went into the St. Croix River. The walking path between the bathhouse and beach held firm, however.

In 2011, the city spent $61,000 to install a new path with a thick concrete base on top of pilings to prevent the damage that typically occurred to the old pathway in heavy rainstorms.

Zeuli said Friday night's storm caused isolated street damage in the city. "There are some washouts and big potholes -- things like that," he said in a phone call Monday morning.

Water from the intersection of Seventh and Summer streets ran down the bluff and washed debris onto Coulee Road near the entrance to Birkmose Park.

A hole in Locust Street, between First and Second streets, where workers were installing water service to the renovated Dibbo's building, was made bigger by the storm.

The fire department was called to intersection of 17th Street and Ward Avenue when a vehicle stalled in the floodwater there, and the motorist was afraid of being swept away.

A resident at Orange and Fifth streets watched her Volkswagen bus float by on the street.

Homeowners between Fourth and Fifth streets, on the north side of Vine Street, had their backyards and basements flooded again.


Flooding occurred elsewhere in St. Croix County, too, according to the county's Emergency Support Services office.

The county said in a news release that 0.7 to 2.5 inches of rain fell within a half-hour period, causing roads and bridges to flood.

Occupants were rescued from vehicles that became disabled in the water in Hudson and Roberts, but no one was injured, the Emergency Services office said.

The county reported that downed power lines on the Hudson railroad bridge stopped train traffic, and forced a Union Pacific train to park at the County TT crossing near Hammond.

A bridge on County BB south of Baldwin washed out.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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