Juneau, Adams Co. residents urged to use caution near dams as seasonal reductions begin

Petenwell Dam (2018)
Petenwell Dam (2018)(courtesy Wisconsin River Power Company)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:29 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - People are reminded to take safety precautions in Juneau and Adams counties starting next week as officials begin to draw down hydroelectric dams.

Wisconsin River Power Company explained that it gradually draws down the reservoirs in the Castlerock and Petenwell dams each winter.

Crews do this in order to manage higher spring river levels that are caused by melting snow in the northern and central portion of the state.

Drawdowns will begin on the Castle Rock reservoir on Feb. 1 and at Petenwell by Feb. 10. Each will be drained by as much as 6 feet and 5 feet, respectively.

The agency warned that these reductions can create unstable ice conditions. People should avoid snowmobiling or driving vehicles on the ice, obey all emergency vehicles and warning signs and stay outside of buoy lines. Residents are also urged to be aware of rapidly changing water conditions, bring a cell phone in case of an emergency and have a safe escape plan route planned in case of danger.

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