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Columbia County Rivers Rising With Spring Melt

High Waters

The Columbia County Emergency Management Office is advising that river levels in Columbia County are rising, and are expected to rise significantly more in the next few weeks.

Currently, the Wisconsin River is at 12.95 feet, with the National Weather Service predicting it will rise to 16.5 feet by next Wednesday (March 11).  Minor Flood Stage is 17 feet.  The Baraboo, Crawfish, and Fox rivers are all expected to rise to near Action Stage.  Changes in temperature, melt, and rain fall can cause river levels to rise quickly, so preparations should be made to move vehicles, equipment, and other items to higher ground until the spring thaw has ended.

While the Lodi Valley has a significant amount of marshland to absorb melt water, it may not be enough.  The Spring Creek watershed extends all the way to Dane, bringing a lot of water from the surrounding hills and fields.

Road Closures

Flooded roads, roads with compromised culverts, and bridges are signed and barricaded as needed. Heed the warning and do not drive around barricades. A listing of Columbia County Road Closures is located on the Columbia County website under “Public Interest”. This will be updated as impacted roads are closed and reopened. If you come across a roadway that is covered with water that has not been closed/barricaded, contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 608-742-4166 Extension 1 to report it.
If you have not signed up to NIXLE (an emergency messaging system used by Columbia County), you can do so at any time. Text your zip code to 888-777. If emergency messages are sent out to your area, you will then receive them on your cell phone. This is an opt in program only.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Do not attempt to drive through standing water on a road because as little as 6 inches of moving water can sweep a car off the road.

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