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People can return home in Manawa after evacuations, fears of dam collapse

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Manawa flooding
Manawa flooding
Posted at 12:40 PM, Jul 05, 2024

UPDATE 4: Manawa Police says residents can return home after being evacuated earlier in the day due to flooding. The department advides residents to "drive carefully and avoid standing water, as there may be erosion under it." The full update from the City of Manawa can be found here.

UPDATE 3: Manawa Fire tells NBC 26's Noah Cornelius “it seems as if they’re planning to open up [the bridge over County Rd N] again for traffic here shortly.”

Waupaca County issued a boil water advisory for residents near Manawa.

UPDATE 2: Manawa Fire tells NBC 26's Noah Cornelius they can't do anything else right now but let the water flow, and they removed parts of the dam to increase the flow.

Fire crews said while they no longer believe the dam will collapse, they're monitoring the bridge over County Rd N after the heavy water flow. They said their focus has also shifted downstream on evacuations and clearing out any remaining standing water.

UPDATE: Evacuation down river began and has continued north along Hwy 22. Evacuation sites are the Manawa Masonic Center (520 N. Bridge St.) and the Little Wolf High School (515 E. 4th St.)

The Manawa Police Department is urging residents who live along the evacuation route to shelter in place. Plans to evacuate the Manawa Community Living Center to the King Veteran's Home are underway, says the department.

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A flash flood warning is issued for central Waupaca County, according to the National Weather Service of Green Bay.

The National Weather Service of Green Bay says a dam break on the Little Wolf River below the Manawa Dam in Waupaca County is imminent, and they are expecting major flooding downstream from the Manawa dam and the Little Wolf River.

Manawa dam
Manawa dam

The National Weather Service is urging residents to move to higher ground now.

"Act quickly to protect your life," the weather service wrote in a Facebook post. "Be aware of your surroundings and do not drive on flooded roads."

The City of Manawa is urging residents to avoid travelling at this time as several roads in the city are flooded and washed away, including Union Street, N. Bridge Street, Beech Street, Howard Street and Industrial Drive.

Emergency shelter is taking place at Manawa High School, according to the city.

Law enforcement is currently limiting access to the city due to the flooding.

The warning is in effect until 9:30 p.m.

A local nursing home has been evacuated.

Stay with NBC 26 online and on air as we develop this story.