River rising: Baraboo, Rock Springs on flooding alert - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

River rising: Baraboo, Rock Springs on flooding alert


By Jeff Angileri - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

SAUK COUNTY (WKOW) -- Roads were closed and rivers were rising in Sauk County on Thursday.

Anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rain fell in the north and central parts of Wisconsin overnight. All that water has to go somewhere, and now communities are on flood alert, waiting to see just how much the nearby rivers will be able to handle.

A few miles west of Rock Springs, Highway 154 is starting to merge with Narrows Creek, and the roadway is closed.

A few miles to the east, there's a noticeable current the Baraboo River. Its muddy brown waters are snaking thru town, rising rapidly.

Weather forecasters say the river could rise four feet by Sunday, cresting near nine feet -- considered flood stage. And even that could change.

"If we get additional storms over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, we could see changes in the water at that point depending on how much rain comes down," said Ed Geick, Baraboo city administrator.

Baraboo city officials say they've learned from tragic experience. Record rainfall in 2008 caused the river to crest at 13.7 feet. It isn't expected to go nearly that high this weekend, but preparations are still being made in case of flooding. Some low areas are already saturated.

"We'll have about 1,000 sandbags ready on Friday, and we'll be ready in case the public needs more sandbags around their homes," Geick said.

After all, when all the land, buildings, and streets in town, lead to the river, you can't be too careful.

"I think everyone was shocked two years ago with how quickly the situation changed," said Geick. "We don't want anything like that to happen again without us being ready for it."

Residents can log on to the city's web site for emergency information and available resources at www.cityofbaraboo.com

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