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090818-jrnl-news-flood-watch-2

Rain falls along the Crawfish River near Columbus Sept. 5, 2018. Columbia County Emergency Management warns residence that areas around the river may be susceptible to flooding with heavy snow melt and rain lasting through March 18. 

The National Weather Service is predicting rains to continue through Thursday, March 14. A Flood watch is in effect until Friday, March 15. Due to the snow melt, frost depths, and recent rains, the river levels in the area are forecast to rise over the next few days. The following is predicted near Columbus: Fox River and Crawfish River levels are expected to rise and will be monitored.

The Wisconsin River is expected to reach 17.5 feet minor flood stage by Monday, March 18. Moderate flood stage is 18 feet and last year’s highest crest was 18.02 feet and the historic crest was 20.66 feet in 2010.

The Baraboo River is expected to reach 21.8 feet near moderate flood stage by Monday, March 18. Moderate flood stage is 22 feet; last year’s highest crest was 24.47 feet and the historic crest was 27.48 feet in 2008.

People who live in low lying areas or along any river are encouraged to take appropriate actions and to monitor the river levels for any changes. Monitor the river levels by clicking on the following link to the National Weather Service Website River Gauge: water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=mkx&gage=porw3&hydro_type=0

Sandbag locations

Columbia County free-filled (while supplies last) sandbags are available to the public at the Columbia County Highway Shop located at 338 W. Old Highway 16, Wyocena, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Friday. Go to Highway Department Office and they will direct the public to the sandbags or call 608-429-1036. You will need to provide your own truck or trailer to haul them.

In the city of Columbus, free sandbags are available to fill upon request and by appointment. Contact the city at 920-623-5900.

In the city of Portage, free-filled (while supplies last) sandbags are available to Portage residents at the department of public works facility located at 616 Washington Street, Portage. You will need to provide your own truck or trailer to haul them.

A listing of Columbia County Road Closures is located at www.co.columbia.wi.us. This will be updated as impacted roads are closed. Please do not attempt to drive through standing water in roadways. If you come across a roadway that is covered with water that has not been closed/barricaded, please contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 608-742-4166 extension 1, to report the location so appropriate action can be taken.

The following roads are affected/flooded: Blackhawk Park area including Blackhawk Road, West Lane Road, Old River Road, and Lake Road

Do not attempt to drive through water on a road, as little as 6 inches of moving water can sweep a car off the road.

Local authorities will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated information as it becomes available.

People in need of assistance are advised to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 742-4166 Extension 1 if you need immediate assistance.