WVIC Says System Able To Handle Recent Heavy Rains

Jul 28, 2020

Credit Oneida County

The system that controls the water flow on the Wisconsin River that includes dams was holding its own after heavy rain over the weekend.

The National Weather Service reported more than 7 inches or rain in the Hazelhurst area and nearly as much in western Vilas county. Those heavy rain areas impacted the Willow and Rainbow reservoirs in Oneida county.

Vice-president of operations for Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company Peter Hansen was at the Willow Dam Monday looking at how the heavy rains were affecting the dam. Not surprisingly, the reservoirs are full...

"When we're full like we are, we're matching whatever inflow is coming. We don't have any room for storage in any of our projects, it's been such a wet year again. Whatever inflow is coming in we're releasing downstream..."

Hansen says there was a small amount of flooding. He reported below the Willow Dam on the Tomahawk River there was high water. He says people using the river system should be extra cautious....

"As of now there's no concern with recreation, except the river systems might be impacted with higher flows. On the reservoirs, I'm at the Willow right now, and there's all kinds of boats on the lake..."

Hansen did report the rain impacted an embankment along a roadway near the Willow Dam.

Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company manages the Wisconsin River flow using a reservoir system to keep the levels of the river uniform.