So painfully close

While the storms were a bit of a wild ride locally, it looks to have spared a lot of central and northern Wisconsin. That said, with the new river predictions out in the last hour, we’re just on the wrong side of where we need to be for at least Friday night trips. Saturday isn’t looking great but it does look possible that we’ll let people attempt Saturday night trips if they really want to (and the further we get into the week, the better the outlook), but for now, Friday night is officially out.

Day trips will be in good shape. There are a number of places to pull off the river but with the high water levels, you’re also able to get into a lot of neat backwaters that are normally inaccessible – this is especially great for wildlife sightings.

Our neatly defined threshold of 15,000cfs is a little fuzzy in the real world. While there are technically a small handful of sandbars/islands out on the river right now, there just aren’t enough to expect everyone to find a place to camp. 6″ makes a huge difference at this level. If we didn’t also have so much local rain that doesn’t show up in the gauges and river predictions right away, we’d probably give you the option to try. As it is, we just don’t know whether or not you’ll wake up underwater at 4am Saturday morning.

How will we know for Saturday night? We’re currently expecting the dam 36 hours upstream to drop between 1-2,000cfs mid to late Thursday morning. If this happens, we’ll check the new output against what’s happening directly above us at Prairie Du Sac and if it looks like we’ll stay level or drop close to that 15k number, we’ll give the option. This is likely when you’ll see my next update.

In an ideal world, we’d see the graph below putting is in the white boundary. As it is, we can stand to be a little bit into the yellow, but we definitely want to be trending down.

High water on the Wisconsin River