Flood-weary residents along the Baraboo River are bracing for another round of flooding this week, thanks to heavy rain Tuesday and Wednesday.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning early Wednesday morning because the river is expected to reach 28 feet at Rock Springs late Thursday, which is only 7 inches below the record high-water mark set in the flooding of 2008.
Schools in southwest and south-central Wisconsin were closed or delayed because of flooded roads Wednesday, another calamity in two weeks of misery throughout the regions. Residents are reminded not to go around or move barricades.
Below are all road closures listed by the Sauk County Office of Emergency Management due to …
More flooding is expected along rivers and streams and on Madison-area lakes, thanks to the latest round of rain that is forecast to end by Wednesday night.
The Montello School District is the one most affected by flooding, because a major road through the community is flooded and school buses can’t get to a sizable number of students.
Montello school officials have canceled classes for the rest of the week, and hope to start the school year on Monday.
Reedsburg, Richland and Weston schools were closed Wednesday, and schools in Hillsboro, Ithaca, Prairie du Chien and Royall were opening late. Reedsburg has delayed the start of the school year until Monday.
Sandbags are available in Sauk County and the county has set up an information phone line, 355-3200, for more information.
The Wisconsin River at Portage crested between Aug. 29 and 30 at 16.42 feet, just below the minor flood stage of 17 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Since Monday, after dropping below 13 feet, the river has been rising again. It was at 16.4 feet as of Wednesday evening, and is expected to crest at well into the moderate flood stage on Sunday. The major flood stage begins at 19 feet, with the record set at 20.7 feet.
Although the National Guard brought sandbags to Interstates 39 and 90/94, Highway 33 has remained open, but the Portage Fire Department, which regularly responds to calls for aid west of the interstates, is preparing contingencies.
“I’ve been in contact Merrimac, Baraboo and Lake Delton Fire in case it is compromised that we can’t get over to the Caledonia side,” said Simonson.
In that event, Simonson gave departments a heads-up requesting that if Portage is paged, to be ready for a longer response and get in contact with other departments.
Highways are still closed by high water in about a half-dozen counties in southwest and south-central Wisconsin, mostly in Vernon, Sauk and Richland counties.
A full list of closed state and federal highways can be found on the Wisconsin Travel Map at https://511wi.gov/map#:Alerts