Flowage Levels Close to Maximum

May 7, 2014

Wisconsin River levels are high in the Rhinelander area, thanks to rain and snow melt.  Water is being released from flowages as they near their maximum levels. 

Lots of water is passing through dams, as the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company opens the gates of the Rainbow and Willow Flowages.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company controls most dams and water levels on the Wisconsin River.  Operations Manager Peter Hansen says the company is releasing a lot of water from the Rainbow Flowage…which is close to its maximum level.

“We have a maximum elevation that we must not allow it to go over, so we have the gates open and the water level is coming down slowly on a daily basis now.” 

The Willow Flowage is about half a foot from its maximum, the highest it’s been this year.  Hansen says despite up to an inch of rain expected this week, levels shouldn’t see a significant rise. 

“You know, you’re starting to see budding of the trees and green up of the grasses in the fields, and that helps reduce runoff you get from rain events.” 

Hansen says there are currently no reports of flooding, and none expected.