Lots of snow, rain brings flooding concerns to Chippewa Valley

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Right now massive amounts of water is rolling down our local rivers.

A long winter of snow and several days of rain are bringing up river levels to possibly dangerous levels.

What kind of flooding will we see in Eau Claire with the Chippewa River?

“It looks pretty high, higher than we've seen in a long time,” George Sreckov of Eau Claire.

Sreckov and his sons Oscar and Oliver checked out the swollen river from the safety of the Grand Avenue footbridge.

“Especially down there at Phoenix Park you can see where the normally go and throw the rocks, that area is all underwater,” Sreckov said.

The city of Eau Claire said it’s watching the levels of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers closely.

The Deputy City Engineer said the Chippewa is expected to crest Thursday.

“If that projection holds, we'll still be 4 feet below flood level. And what that really means is we should see the Chippewa River trails inundated in several sections, we'll see the lower parts of Owen Park flooded but we shouldn't see major street or parking lot flooding,” said Deputy City Engineer John Genskow.

And while we may be in for a timid spring, the rivers still pose many dangers.

“When you have water moving at a current like that, we can get scour holes. If you can’t see what you’re stepping into, you may step into a hole that wasn’t there before. If you're in a flooded area there's probably brush and other tree limbs hanging in that area that may now be underwater that present a hazard for you to trip or get caught on,” Genskow said.

When walking trails this time of year, Michael Crawford said he always makes sure the river hasn't crept up on them.

“We still have a lot of snow and rain coming, and it might rise 2 or 3 feet still,” said Crawford, who lives near the Chippewa River.

Stay with WEAU 13 News for updates on flood watches and if any areas are shut down due to flooding.

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