Communities along Wolf River prepare for flooding as Blizzard Evelyn's snow melts

Snow from melts along the Wolf River in Shiocton April 20, 2018, four days after Blizzard Evelyn. (WLUK/Ben Krumholz)

SHIOCTON (WLUK) -- As Blizzard Evelyn's snow melts, Waupaca County is preparing for potential flooding.

The county's emergency management office has declared a flood emergency for the Wolf River downstream of New London, beginning at 8 a.m. Monday.

The flood emergency means a slow-no-wake order will be in effect on the river. The slow-no-wake order covers boats operating within 500 feet of any permanent building.

Upstream in Outagamie County, the boat launch in Shiocton was packed Friday afternoon.

“It's rough fishing,” said Gary Polum of Shawano. “The water is real cold, lot of ice coming out of the marshes, floating down. The fish are there, but the water is so cold they're tough to catch.”

To those on the Wolf in Shiocton, the effect Blizzard Evelyn had on fishing seems to outweigh what it might mean in melting and water levels.

“Warmer it gets, quicker it's going to melt, quicker the river is going to rise,” said Butch Bunnell, Shiocton’s retired police chief.

Shiocton residents aren't just used to it. They say they're ready for it.

“We don't call it flooding,” said Bunnell. “We call it high water.”

The National Weather Service projects the river will reach minor flood stage early next week and rise to moderate late in the week. Residents, however, say they haven't seen anything to be concerned about yet.

“We've got a lot of room yet, but I understand there is a lot of snow up north yet,” said Bunnell.

While it's natural to assume Blizzard Evelyn would increase the annual water rise, Bunnell says people should remember there are other factors too.

“Did we have a dry fall last year? Will that water be absorbed into the land, because it was dry this spring, Mother Nature has her own way,” said Bunnell.

If some of the fishermen had it their way, the snow might actually melt faster.

“It's not helping fish any,” said Polum. “That's for sure. Look how messed up your landings are. There is no place to park. It's not good. It needs to melt soon. “

So far, Outagamie County has not issued any sort of advisory for the Wolf in Shiocton.

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