National Weather Service issues minor flood warning for Sugar River

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Jake Magee
Monday, June 23, 2014

JANESVILLE—Recent storms have put the Sugar River over its banks, but the Rock River is not expected to flood, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service on Monday morning issued a flood warning for the Sugar River in Brodhead and the town of Avon. Storms haven't hit since last week, but flooding isn't always immediate, senior forecaster Bob McMahon said.

“Usually what happens is that there are smaller feeder streams … that will hold water for a little bit and drain into the main stem system,” he said. “Some rivers are a little forward to rise and slower to go back down. You don't need to have the heavy rain to occur with the flooding; it can occur after the fact.”

The Sugar River already has crested and should begin to drop Tuesday morning. McMahon expects the Sugar River will be back to its normal level Tuesday evening.

The Sugar River's flood stage is 5 feet. As of Monday morning, the river reached 5.4 feet, or just under 6 inches above flood level.

“We're looking at a few roads getting water over them downstream in Avon,” McMahon said.

There also may be minor flooding at the Sugar River Park in the boat ramp area where people can launch canoes, he said.

Despite the heavy rain, the Sugar River is the only one to have reached a flooding level. The Rock, Baraboo, Fox and other rivers are expected to stay within their banks.

Even minor floods can be dangerous, McMahon warned.

“We advise people not to drive through water that is covering a road. You cannot judge the depth of water over the road … even though water may not be flowing,” he said.

McMahon also advised against wading through flooded areas, especially on roads that could be damaged or hiding dangerous debris.

“We recommend people not go into the water standing there,” he said. “It may look like it's standing, but there might be a bit of a current to it.”

Last updated: 4:47 pm Monday, June 23, 2014

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