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Keep clear of dams during spring thaw


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The company in charge of most of the hydroelectric dams on the Wisconsin River is warning you to keep clear of the dams.

The spring thaw is here, and water levels and flow are higher than usual. Wisconsin Valley Improvement manager Peter Hansen says all of their hydroelectric dams have their floodgates open. "We are at flows above the capacity of the generation of each of those dams, so that should be going on for the next couple of weeks." That makes for dangerous water flows both above and below the dams.

That high water flow also makes for some good fishing, and Hansen warns anglers to pay attention. "People are going to be out there taking some chances, and we ask that they watch what they're doing. Pay attention to your surroundings, listening for any warnings the dam may be producing whether it's sirens or staff that's in the area."

Hansen says they've got their safety gear out on their dams. "All of those large dams are all signed appropriately, they've got buoys out there to keep boats away, not just during high flow time but all times of the year. Dams need to be respected throughout the year."

You can get updates on the river and possible flooding on their website at http://www.wvic.com