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Yesterday in La Crosse

We were in the spotlight for being under water, 20 years ago

Brad Williams

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In April of 2001, the national media kept track of severe flooding on the Mississippi.  For a couple of days, the focus was on La Crosse, as TV networks covered briefings by La Crosse public works director Pat Caffrey.  The river crested in La Crosse on April 18th at 4 feet above flood stage, and after the crest, the media moved on downriver to Prairie du Chien.  One live TV story from NBC featured a reporter and a camera person in a boat on waterlogged Main Street in Prairie…which may have given viewers a false impression of the flooding.  Prairie du Chien’s Main Street runs parallel to the river, and is on the westernmost fringe of downtown.  The busiest street in downtown PDC, Blackhawk Avenue, was mostly dry.   

The Brewers opened their new ballpark, Miller Park, on April 6th of 2001.  The team still finished 25 games out of first place in its division that season.  The Twins were still playing ball at the Metrodome, and would stay there until the opening of Target Field in 2010.   

Movies making money during the early part of 2001 included “Spy Kids,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” and the original “Shrek.”  At the Oscars in 2001, “Gladiator” and its star, Russell Crowe, won awards, and Julia Roberts was named best actress for “Erin Brockovich,” 20 years ago, 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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