River drops, but not for long

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January 29, 2008
— The Rock River is down today.

But donít get too excited. Itís going back up Wednesday and Thursday.

The river was 9.92 feet this morning, according to the National Weather Service. Thatís down from 11.13 feet over the weekend, Rock County Chief Deputy Barbara Tillman said.

Itís predicted to rise to 10.6 feet depending on tonightís storm, Tillman said.

ďItís all manageable,Ē Tillman said about the predictions, even though the current level is above flood stage.

The flooding was triggered Jan. 19 by ice dams, which are the result of giant pieces of ice that tumble and freeze, blocking water flow.

Three families who voluntarily evacuated their homes have returned, Tillman said. Seven other families are waiting for the water to recede further, she said.

The sheriffís office Monday opened South River Road to local traffic. The Rock County Public Works Department is grading three icy spots where the road flooded.

Tillman expects the road to be open to the public today.

Along nearby Oakley Road, the trees have ďice tree skirtsĒ where floodwater has receded under ice that formed at the riverís peak, Tillman said.

The river started jamming at Newark Road Bridge in Beloit Township. The waterís highest point since then was 12.21 feet on Jan. 23.

The jams grew as far north as the Eau Claire Road Bridge in Rock Township.

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