Wolf River tops high-water record in Shiocton

The Wolf River rises to a high level in Shiocton April 30, 2018, as seen from SKYFOX. (WLUK image)

SHIOCTON, Wis. (WLUK) -- Although the water level was dropping by Monday afternoon, the Wolf River in Shiocton this week officially surpassed its previous high crest, a record which was set 96 years ago.

However, long-time residents insist they've seen worse.

Living along the Wolf River for most of her life, Betty Burnwell says she has had her fair share of close calls with floodwaters.

"It gets high in the spring but I have seen the water -- when I consider it high -- to be right up to this concrete, and actually up against the north side of my house," Burnwell said as she pointed out measuring points on her property.

The National Weather Service reported water levels on the Wolf broke a record Sunday, climbing to 14.13 feet above flood stage. That beat the previous record of 14.1 feet, set in 1922.

"This is pretty much what you see every year," Burnwell said. "I don't want to argue with the National Weather Service."

Although there aren't any further signs of flooding officials say the water has increased at least three feet in height since last week.

"I believe we are higher than last year," Police Chief Kristine Brownson said. "Record-breaking? I'm not so sure of that."

Brownson says river levels are monitored by lower portion of the Highway 54 bridge, which she says may have played a role in the most recent report.

"I believe we've had two other bridges since 1922," she said. "Rivers change every year, they start growing in different capacities."

While the danger of extreme flooding appears low, she says precautions are being taken.

"Outagamie County has placed a slow-no-wake (order) effective till Saturday throughout the Wolf River," Brownson said. "I've never seen that in the 25 years I've been the chief."

Bunnell says she's learned to see the beauty that comes along with the rising waters.

"It has its good points," she said. "I have mallard ducks swimming right at the edge of my stones there."

The Shiocton Water Treatment Plant handles monitoring and reporting of the Wolf River levels.

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