Authorities are monitoring the Wisconsin River after part of the 110-year-old sand levee system broke Sunday in Portage. The condition of the levees remains uncertain and responders are concerned that a complete failure of the levees would result in flooding even farther south.
Over 150 homes in the Blackhawk Park area of Portage could be affected if the levee collapses totally and the flood waters could close parts of Interstate-39 and Highway 33.
As it is, the only road leading into the Blackhawk Park neighborhood is closed. And that’s why authorities used boats to help people evacuate Sunday. Officials said a number of people stayed behind, despite warnings that they might become trapped with no way to get services.
At four this morning, the Wisconsin River was at 20.2 feet at Portage. 3.2 feet above its flood stage. Officials said the river was holding steady, and it’s expected to return within its banks on Wednesday evening.
Flood waters have been raging down the river since late last week, when over five-inches of rain fell in the Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids areas about 75 miles to the north of Portage.