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Update: Record-breaking rainfall Saturday in La Crosse, driving tips

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Powerful storms made Saturday the wettest day on record for the city of La Crosse.

According to the National Weather Service, 5.59 inches of rain fell, edging out the old record of 5.55 inches on Sept. 6, 1884.

Flash floods led to fallen rocks and mudslides in La Crosse and Monroe counties. The storms also brought strong winds and hail, with hailstones up to 1.25 inches in diameter reported near Holmen.

Across the river in Minnesota, Winona saw between 1.35 and 3.12 inches of rain, putting many streets underwater. Rural residents also reported flash flooding.

Farther south, a tornado destroyed six homes and 11 other structures Saturday night outside of Boscobel. So far, no injuries have been reported, according to Grant County Emergency Management.

The deluge wasn’t over Saturday: A flash flood warning remained in effect through Sunday evening, with NWS warning of periods of torrential rainfall and further flooding possible in areas that had already seen heavy rain, as well as a low chance of showers and thunderstorms early Monday morning.

UPDATES: The Grand Crossing and Willow Trail located in the La Crosse River Marsh are closed due to high water. The trail closures will remain in effect until the high water recedes and repairs can be made. There are barricades and trail closure signage.

Get Your Car Ready for Wet Weather Conditions

Driving in wet weather can be a hassle – and potentially dangerous. According to AAA, wet roads cause nearly 1.2 million car accidents each year. It’s important that you (and your car!) are prepared for wet and rainy conditions. With these tips from Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can have peace of mind on the road.

  • Check Tire Tread Depth – Before you hit the road, check the tread depth of your tires. You need plenty of tread to keep your car moving safely when there’s water on the road.
  • Check Tire Pressure – Regularly check your tire pressure to make sure they’re properly inflated.
  • Check Windshield Wipers – Check your wiper blades for wear and tear – if they leave streaks on your window, it’s time to replace them.
  • Check Headlights and Taillights – Taillights and headlights are needed not only for you to see, but so other drivers can see you. Make sure all of your lights are in working order for the road.

Tips for Driving in Wet Weather

There are a few tips to keep in mind once you’re actually out on the road.

  • Clear Up Foggy Windows – If your windows start fogging up, use the air conditioner to dehumidify the air inside your car.
  • Avoid Cruise Control – To give yourself more options when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation, make sure to turn off cruise control on a slick road and rainy day.
  • Keep Your Distance – It’s vital to keep your distance from cars in front of you. Braking distances can double when there’s less traction. Plus, you’ll have better visibility because the tire spray from cars in front of you will be further away.
  • Keep Control – Look further up the road and keep the ride as smooth as possible. Rushed or jerky steering can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Did you document the record rainfall? Share severe weather photos with our readers — email them, along with a caption and your contact information, to news@lacrossetribune.com.

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