Jul 13, 2016

Northwoods flooding leaves at least two dead

Saxon Harbor, Wisconsin
Maggie Angst
Post-Crescent Media
Photo: @511WI / Twitter
Photo: @511WI / Twitter

Two men were killed when torrential rains flooded eight northern Wisconsin counties Monday night and Tuesday.

In Iron County, the Sheriff's Department said Mitch Koski, 56, of Montreal, Wis., died in the flooding.

Koski served as Montreal Assistant Fire Chief and was a former mayor of Montreal, a city of about 800 near Hurley. He was a member of the Montreal Fire Department for 30 years, according to Montreal Fire Chief Mark Haeger.

"The guy lived his entire life helping other people," Haeger said. "Everything he did revolved around the community."


In nearby Bayfield County, an 84-year-old Illinois man died Tuesday when his vehicle became submerged in a flooded ditch, according to Bayfield County sheriff's officials, who identified the victim as Delmar Johnson of Tower Lakes, Ill.


Two creeks spill into Lake Superior at Saxon Harbor, and much of the harbor was washed away, damaging or destroying 85 boats and 100 boat slips, according to the Wisconsin State Emergency Operations Center. Haeger said the harbor area received nearly 14 inches of rain in the storm.


A wide swath of the Northwoods recorded rain totals nearing double digits with Wascott in Douglas County topping the official list at 11 inches, according to the National Weather Service