Divers, rescuers hunt for man swept away by Wisconsin floodwaters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man who was stranded in his vehicle is missing and presumed dead after gushing floodwaters wrenched him from the arms of a rescuer after a deluge of heavy rain in southern Wisconsin, fire officials said Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says more than 11 inches of rain fell overnight in some spots of western Dane County, flooding major roads and intersections and knocking out power to thousands of people.

Bystanders and firefighters tried to rescue the man and two other people from a vehicle stranded in the floods in Madison Monday night. His two companions were pulled to safety, but the man was lost in the strong current. Dive teams and first responders are still searching for the man, but it is now considered a recovery rather than a rescue mission, the Madison Fire Department said.

Authorities have not released the identity of the missing man.

The weather service said it expects the heavy rain broke the Wisconsin record for the most rainfall in 24 hours. The Madison suburb of Middleton has so far recorded 11.6 inches, but rainfall reports were still coming in. The previous record was 11.7 inches near Mellen in northern Wisconsin, set on June 24, 1946.

Black Earth Creek hit record flood stage with evacuations underway in Black Earth, Cross Plains and Mazomanie, according to Dane County Emergency Management. A temporary shelter was set up at Mazomanie Village Hall. No information has been released about how many people have been displaced or any flood damage.

About 6,000 Madison Gas and Electric customers lost power Monday night as the storms hit west of Madison. Power was restored to the majority of those customers by Tuesday morning.

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