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Wisconsin's Mysterious Sliding Island?

By JoshMogerman in News on Sep 26, 2010 6:45PM

Chippewa River at Eau Claire, WI [wikicommons]
We know natural disasters can be pretty stressful, but what the heck is going on up in Eau Claire? Heavy rains have soaked much of Wisconsin this week sending rivers over their banks throughout the state. But the floods seem to have particularly addled folks along the Chippewa River, where Eau Claire city officials rang the alarm bells when they thought an island had broken loose in the deluge.

City crews were concerned when it seemed that the island had “slid up against the North Crossing bridge” and was resting against a water main.

If only there was some tool they could use to visually assess the island’s location over time… Oh yeah, Google Maps

It turns out that the island has always been in that spot...oops... Disaster averted.

But the good people of Eau Claire (are they Eau Clairians?) won’t let satellite images get in the way of a good story. Dozens of comments on WEAU-TV’s site are adamant that something is amiss:

...that darn island did move. The city official who looked at the aerial maps needs an eye exam...

...if the island didnt move, did the bridge? I never saw trees while crossing the bridge before...did the trees grow out of the water overnight??

...the island did move, it's wayyy closer to the bridge, I'm pretty sure the bridge didn't move.

What gives? Are aliens messing with cheese heads on the Chippewa? Did a river tsunami strike our neighbors to the north? We like the suggestion from one wily commenter who notes:

This is the island from "Lost". Now that the show is over it has plenty of time on it's hands to mess with us.
Thankfully, the Leinenkugel Brewery in nearby Chippewa Falls is unimpacted by the flooding or shifting earth.