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Spring runoff prompts safety reminders for Wisconsin River


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The recent rain combined with runoff from up north means the Wisconsin River can be dangerous.

Peter Hanson with the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Association says that’s especially true near dams.  “We just ask that they watch what they’re doing, pay attention to their surroundings, listening for any warnings maybe that the dam is producing, whether it would be sirens, or staff that’s in the area. All of those large dams are all signed appropriately. They’ve got buoys out in front of the dams to keep boats away.”

Hanson says the characteristics of each dam is different, so watch for buoys, safety cables, and signs. He says you can also get a lot of information from their web site.  “We’ve got all of the hydrographs for the different USGS gauges along the Wisconsin River in the general area. You can see the projected peak flows that the National Weather Service gives, and also, like I said, we have some public safety stuff on there.”

The fishing opener for inland waters is this coming Saturday. Hanson reminds people to wear personal floatation devices anytime they are near the river, especially with this rapid flowing water.

As of Monday, the Wisconsin River was passing about 10,200 cubic feet of water per second over the Rothschild dam.