Galesville flooding potential slightly higher than normal

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GALESVILLE, Wis. (WEAU) -- People in Galesville are at a slightly higher than normal risk for minor flooding along the Back River.

James Larson has a dairy farm along the Black River where he said it usually floods every year, and it’s something he’s always concerned about.

“Depending on when this all thaws out and warms up it could be a very, very late spring and also a bigger year of flooding,” said Larson.

Mike Welvaert, who’s a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, said the Black River’s level is about 4 .5 feet near Galesville.

“Anybody who has concerns along the Black River anywhere really from Black River Falls all the way downstream should be paying attention to the river levels as the snow continues to melt,” said Welvaert.

Because the frost is so thick, the water can’t go through the ground, because it’s frozen. So instead, that water goes into the river.

“Now that we’re starting to see some of the warmer weather that frost situation is starting to relieve itself, but we do have quite a bit of ground frost still,” said Welvaert.

Twelve feet is considered flood stage along the black river.

The last time Galesville had bad flooding was September 2010, when the river was 16.79 feet.

“That was the record flood for that location in about 100 years of data,” said Welvaert.

“It was so bad that when I went to get the cows that morning, they couldn’t come home because the waters were so high that I had to run them up a fence line that was not open to them,” said Larson.

Larson said when it comes to flooding, hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

“There’s really not much you can do to prepare for it at least not in our situation on a farm, other than to basically take on the flooding and survive it,” said Larson.

The Black River isn’t the only river affected.

Right now, the Trempealeau River in Dodge is at 9 feet, which is considered flood stage, and it’s expected to go up to 9.5 feet on Tuesday.

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