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Yesterday in La Crosse

A spring flood put the Coulee Region in the national spotlight, 18 years ago



Around Easter of 2001, the Mississippi River had its highest spring flooding since the record flood of 1965. For a couple of days, La Crosse Public Works director Pat Caffrey was featured on national TV news, talking about the severe flooding. Once the flood water went down in La Crosse, the national media moved on downriver, to places like Prairie du Chien. One live cable news story showed an NBC reporter in a boat, riding the floodwaters on Main Street in Prairie. The report did not explain that Main Street in Prairie du Chien runs parallel to the river, and is not the center of the town’s business district.

The Brewers’ new stadium, Miller Park, had just opened that April. Milwaukee finished 25 games out of first place in the NL Central that season.

Movies that made money early in 2001 included ‘Spy Kids,’ Bridget Jones’s Diary,’ and the original ‘Shrek,’ yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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