Water and hope flow back into Lake Delton - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Water and hope flow back into Lake Delton


LAKE DELTON (WKOW) -- Water is starting to refill Lake Delton and County Highway A, washed away by June floods, officially reopened Friday.

On Wednesday, crews closed a set of dam gates, allowing Dell Creek to refill the lake. There isn't much water yet, but that's all part of the plan.

"There's water in it right now.  We're going to get it to a certain level and just leave it there to see what kind of snow cover we are going to get in the winter. Then we want to give ourselves enough time to get it filled by May and Memorial Day," says Wisconsin DNR Secretary Matthew Frank.

Still, it's more water than many have seen in months. June floods washed away County Highway A, sending the lake waters into The Wisconsin River.

"The giant gorge, the damage to the highway, and the damage to the homes, it's hard to see how you can put it all back together," says Governor Jim Doyle.

But they did. Along with the Lake Delton Dam, County Highway A officially reopened.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony, Governor Doyle applauded the hard work it took to rebuild.

"As a state, we pulled together and we did something dramatic and Lake Delton is where we are going to see those results most clearly," Doyle says.

For many in Lake Delton, the sight of just a little water is bringing a lot of hope.

"Thank goodness we had a relatively good summer. It'll be a lot better when things are back to normal," says local business owner Jack Waterman.

Renovations to the new dam feature a larger, stronger spillway to allow the dam to pass more water and an 80 foot-long emergency spillway was constructed to handle any excess.

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