Water levels in Big Eau Pleine reach brim - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Water levels in Big Eau Pleine reach brim

by Colby Robertson

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- After a seven year drought, water levels in the area get back to normal.

While some parts of the nation are seeing too much rain, here in north central Wisconsin, it's just right; at least for those residents living on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir.

Since June we've seen as much as 15 inches of rain and for the first time in a long time residents of the Big Eau Pleine can enjoy a summer out on the water.

Tom Martin has lived on the Big Eau Pleine for more than 40 years. As he looks out onto the water from his property he's excited about what he sees.

Martin says, "This year it's bringing back good memories of the days past when the water levels were high."

Thanks to nearly 15 inches of rain from mother nature, the Big Eau Pleine is full to the brim and finally looking like it did back in the day.

Sam Morgan, Manager of Operations with Wisconsin Valley Improvement says, "This year we've actually seen enough rain that the Wisconsin River is flowing at a sustainable rate all by itself and we don't have to release any water out of our reservoir or at least we haven't so far for the last two months, so we're seeing reservoirs fill up."

Over the past seven years, Morgan says the water level has been as much as 40 inches below normal. While the recent rain is a step in the right direction, Morgan says we still have a ways to go before we're completely out of the drought.

Morgan says, "If you do a little math and you're 40 inches short of rain, and you get 15, the math says you're still 25 inches short, so if it stops raining things are going to dry out again. When you have seven years in a row, it's going to take a couple wet ones to get back to normal again."

With no guarantee for next year, residents like Martin are enjoying the high water levels as long as it lasts.

Martin says, "It's nice my son in law and daughter in law have a pontoon and we go out with that and it's just so nice to go out and see water instead of sand and stumps."

Morgan says Lake Nokomis in Tomahawk is about a foot and a half from full, which is also a big improvement from past years.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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