Residents who live along the Wolf River in Outagamie and Waupaca counties are witnessing a familiar sight this time of year, as water levels rise to the flood stage. While many are keeping an eye on river levels, many others have grown accustomed to what the spring weather brings each year. For those in Outagamie County, Emergency Management Director Lisa Van Schyndel says these flood stages will likely continue, at least until the near future.
“The river levels will continue to run above normal for at least the first half of May, which would include the New London and areas downstream to Lake Poygan,” Van Schyndel said. “Shiocton, on the Wolf River, should be cresting in the next few days, then subside with a cooler and dryer trend and it falling below flood stages.”
A flood advisory could still be issued after the flood warning ends, but it will depend on how much rain will hit the area in that time, and even then, there may not be extreme flooding.
“Usually there’s a time lag between the rainfall and the increase in the river levels, said Tim Kieckbusch of the National Weather Service in Green Bay. “Generally in the spring is when the rivers all tend to rise because of the snow melt, so when we talk about the river cresting, it’s when we expect the maximum impact from the most recent rainfall. From there, it will reduce and without any additional rain it should start leveling off again because there’s no more water upstream to go through that point.”
How fast the river will reduce will vary from point to point, based on how fast or efficient the river is at flowing and getting the excess water downstream.
Kieckbusch believes that the river is for the most part at its peak now, and people can expect it to diminish slowly within the next couple of days.