Evacuations recommended for Sauk, Columbia Co. residents along Wisconsin River

BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - As water levels are expected to rise 20.5 feet or higher over the next few days, Sauk County and Columbia County Emergency Management are recommending residents seek alternative housing.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Portage United Methodist Church at 1804 New Pinery Rd. for those displaced by the flooding. If you have questions regarding evacuating or need immediate assistance, contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at 608-742-4166 extension 1.

The Wisconsin River reached major flood stage near Portage Saturday afternoon and is expected to crest mid-day Sunday.

A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Incident Management Team continues to monitor levees and consult with dam safety engineers to ensure the safety of personnel on the levees and the public.

The river is expected to crest at 20 feet, a little below the record of 20.6 feet that occurred in 2010. Residents in affected areas were evacuated yesterday and Levee Road remains closed.

Residents and the public are encouraged to monitor DNR news and social media, Columbia and Sauk County Emergency Management online and local news releases, websites and social media for updates.

This is especially for Sauk County residents along Levee Rd., Plummer’s Grove in the Town of Fairfield, and Indian Trails, (near Lake Delton). There is no need for evacuations, at this time, below the Prairie du Sac dam.

Columbia County Sheriff, Roger Brandner along with Columbia County Emergency Management are also recommending residents that reside in the Towns of Caledonia and Lewiston, especially residents along Levee Road/Fairfield Street and the Blackhawk Park area seek alternative housing until further notice due to high water.

The Department of Natural Resources personnel is monitoring the situation near the earthern berm system, which is unstable at the this time.

Roads are expected to become water covered and first responders may be unable to reach residents in this area to render aid.

Residents are reminded to take purses/wallets, medications, and pets when leaving your residence.

Levee Rd. is closed from Hwy. T in Sauk County through Columbia County.

Volunteers are needed on Saturday, starting at noon, to assist in filling sandbags. If you are interested in helping, you're asked to bring gloves and a shovel.

Volunteers can report to the staging area at Aldo Leopold Foundation. E13701 Levee Rd., Baraboo, Wisconsin. Volunteers will need to access Levee Road by driving on Schepp road.