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Small Sauk County villages face rising river levels, possible lane closures for Madison

August 30, 2018

The Baraboo River at Reedsburg has hit its second highest mark recorded, reaching over 18 feet as of 8 a.m. Aug. 29. Reedsburg Mayor David Estes issued a local emergency declaration at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 29. In Rock Springs, which is just south of Reedsburg, about 10 residents had to be evacuated in the early morning of Aug. 30.

Sauk County Emergency Management evacuated about 10 Rock Springs residents early Thursday morning as the Baraboo River’s water level continued to rise from the rain dumped onto central Wisconsin earlier this week.

While evacuations in Rock Springs are complete, according to Sauk County Emergency Management director Jeff Jelinek, county officials are turning their eyes to the next village in which water will pass: North Freedom.

Firefighters are sandbagging homes in the small town of less than 1,000 people west of Baraboo. Some residents of those homes have already been evacuated, Jelinek said Thursday morning.

North Freedom’s Mid-Continent Railway Museum shut down Thursday to prepare for the possible flooding, according to the museum’s Facebook page. The building sits next to the Baraboo River.

The museum’s historic bridge was put out of service after the 2008 floods. Officials re-opened the bridge in early July.

The call to evacuate Rock Springs residents came around 2 a.m., he said. The Army Duck boats assisted the fire department in rescue efforts.

“The water came up much quicker than anticipated and forecast,” he said. “Everything was flying so quick. It’s been a long couple of days.”

The Baraboo River at Reedsburg, just north of the two towns, hit its second highest mark recorded, reaching over 18 feet on Wednesday morning. Reedsburg Mayor David Estes issued a local emergency declaration at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

A shelter has been opened at the West Square Building located at 505 Broadway in Baraboo.

Dane County

Dane County was spared from the rain that pummeled much of western and southern Wisconsin earlier this week, but Madison is still recovering from rainfall the week of Aug. 20.

In order to manage the water level on Lake Mendota, the water flow through the Tenney dam has been increased, which will lead to rising water levels on the isthmus and causing ponding on roadways and possible lane or road closures.

Expected road impacts include possible lane closures on East Washington Avenue, though officials said they expect to keep two lanes open in both directions. On North First Street, lane closures are expected, but at least one lane in each direction should stay open. North Livingston Street will be closed between East Washington Avenue and East Dayton Street.

Visit cityofmadison.com/flooding for road closures and other updates.

State of Wisconsin highways

Several major Wisconsin arteries have closed from the flooding, according to the state Department of Transportation. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and avoid driving through standing water or around barriers.

Crawford County:

WIS 131 closed between WIS 171 and US 61. No detour.WIS 171 closed from WIS 27 (Mount Sterling) to US 61 (Rolling Ground). No detour.WIS 179 closed from WIS 27 (Eastman) to WIS 131 (Steuben). No detour.

Columbia County:

WIS 127 closed from WIS 16 (Wisconsin Dells) to WIS 16 (Portage). No detour.

Dane County:

US 14 closed between Cross Plains and Black Earth; traffic detoured via WIS 78 and US 12.

Dodge County:

WIS 49 closed from County Y to WIS 175 for power lines over the roadway. No detour.

Juneau County:

WIS 33 closed between WIS 82 and Wonewoc. No detour.

La Crosse County:

WIS 35 is open to one lane with flagging operations from County K to US 14WIS 162 closed between US 14/61 (Vernon County) and WIS 33 (Middle Ridge). No detour.

Marquette County:

WIS 23 closed at the Neenah Creek bridge, two miles east of Briggsville; traffic detoured via WIS 82 and WIS 13.WIS 22 closed at the Main Street bridge over the Montello River in Montello; traffic detoured via WIS 33, WIS 44 and WIS 73.

Monroe County:

WIS 33 closed between Cashton and WIS 131 (Ontario). No detour.WIS 131 closed between Wilton and Ontario. No detour.

Richland County:

WIS 131 closed between WIS 56 and WIS 82. No detour.WIS 56 closed from WIS 131 (Viola) to County G. No detour.

Sauk County:

WIS 23 closed at Albert Street in Reedsburg. No detour.WIS 33 closed between Wonewoc and WIS 23 (Reedsburg). No detour.WIS 58 closed between County G (Ironton) and WIS 33 (LaValle). No detour.WIS 136 closed from WIS 33 (Rock Springs) to WIS 154 (Rock Springs). No detour.WIS 154 closed between WIS 23 (South of Reedsburg) to WIS 136 (Rock Springs). No detour.

Vernon County:

WIS 33/131 intersection closed in Ontario. No detour.WIS 56 closed between Viroqua and Viola. No detour.WIS 82 closed between Slayback Road and South Mill Street (LaFarge). No detour.WIS 131 closed between Ontario and Rockton. No detour.WIS 131 closed between WIS 82 and West Adams Street (LaFarge). No detour.WIS 162 closed between Chaseburg (Depot Street) to US 14. No detour.WIS 162 closed between US 14/61 (Coon Valley) and WIS 33 (Middle Ridge, La Crosse County). No detour.

For more information regarding statewide traffic impacts check 511wi.gov.

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