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Rainy Forecast Prompts River Flooding Worries

Natalie Jablonski

We’re still drying out from last week’s storm…and another is on its way.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Tuesday night through Wednesday night. 

Water levels on the Wisconsin River are already elevated from last week’s rainfall. 

The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company has been releasing water from many of its reservoirs.

As Operations Manager Peter Hansen explains, rainfall reports Thursday and Friday ranged from2.5  to 6 inches. 

“And that came in a pretty short amount of time, so we had to act accordingly and opened gates at majority of our 21 reservoirs.”

About seventy five percent of those reservoirs are at capacity. 

Water in the Rainbow and Willow Reservoirs didn’t get too close to maximum levels during last week's storms, but the Rice and Big Eau Pleine Reservoirs have been just about half a foot below their capacity.  

Hansen says it’s possible the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company will increase flows even more leading up to Tuesday night’s rainfall.

He says no major flooding happened last week, but there were reports of flash flooding, and people should be alert to higher than normal flows on the Wisconsin River.      

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