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Storms wreak havoc in Sauk County

August 29, 2018

Sauk County suffered from several road closures and power outages after severe thunderstorms Aug. 28.

Sauk County Sherriff Chip Meister said water rose over the top of the Hillsboro dam, but has not broken through. He said emergency management would continue to keep an eye on the dam and come up with additional plans if needed.

“Those plans have not been put in place. We’re just in the process of setting up and making plans,” Meister said.

The county’s Emergency Management Director Jeff Jelinek said they anticipate the waters in the La Valle area to continue rising.

“We’ve got very high water and we’re anticipating the water to continue rising,” Jelinek said.

Throughout the morning Tuesday, alerts were issued by the state Department of Transportation’s traffic operations center that eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 33 had closed due flooding and washouts in the area.

Jelinek also said Highway F, near Wisconsin Dells, was shut down due to a washed-out bridge and Highway H is closed due to a damaged culvert.

Reedsburg residents Tanner and Jim Ferrezz were driving to work Tuesday morning in Wonewoc when they encountered the road closures.

“There’s really no other way to go,” Tanner Ferrezz said. He was looking up alternative routes to get to work.

The National Weather Service reported additional severe thunderstorms and warnings throughout the afternoon, with closings reported along Interstate 90/94.

A tornado warning was issued Monday in Sauk County. Jelinek said two funnel clouds were spotted in West Baraboo by law enforcement and there was radar indication of rotation.

According to the Sauk County Emergency Management Facebook page, free sandbags are available at the RACA building at 141 Viking Drive Viking Drive in Reedsburg, across the street from the Sauk County Humane Society and the West Baraboo garage at 614 Highway 36. Free water cleanup kits are also available at the Sauk County Courthouse at 510 Broadway in Baraboo and Reedsburg Human Services at 425 Sixth Street in Reedsburg.

Rebecca Schwerman, who lives on Lake Virginia outside of Reedsburg, went to the RACA building to fill three sandbags to cover her home’s basement windows. Schweman said the water in the basement was up to her ankles.

“It was like a waterfall that was coming in though the window,” she said.

Alliant Energy had reports of multiple power outages in Lake Delton and Wisconsin Dells with additional outages reported in Lyndon Station, Mauston and Wonewoc areas.

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