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Spring thaw causes officials to prepare for high water

Posted at 9:31 PM, Apr 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-06 10:03:52-04

APPLETON (NBC 26) — As ice and snow begin to disappear from the Fox Valley, water is starting to flow freely in lakes and rivers again; perhaps a bit too freely.

“We’re seeing a lot of water coming down and water levels are rising quite a bit," said Zack Seitz, a conservation warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

He explains that the water levels on the section of the Wolf River near Shiocton he covers are at around 12 feet. Seitz said that the levels he's seen are not dangerous yet, but have prompted officials in Outagamie and Waupaca counties to put up "slow no wake" signs, to prevent overflow and other issues

Along the banks of the Fox River in Appleton, Linda Nett-Duesterhoff said she's not too concerned about the water coming out the river this spring, explaining that, for her, runoff is "a part of nature." She said she is worried about what's going into the river, however.

“As far as the runoff across our pavements, salt is an issue," she said, "When people over-salt unnecessarily during the winter, that’s gonna end up in our waterways and that’s definitely a problem for our ecosystem.”

Seitz warns that water levels will continue to rise as snow melts, potentially causing dangerous currents to form. He urges those going out on the waterways, to use caution.

“Have life jackets, make sure that all the safety equipment on [your] boats are working, and be safe out there," he said.