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Rainbow Reservoir near Lake Tomahawk overflows to height it hasn't reached in decadesSubmitted: 06/18/2018

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NORTHWOODS - The storms from the past few days have caused the Rainbow Reservoir near Lake Tomahawk to overflow to a height it hasn't reached in decades.

Two out of the five dam gates opened on Friday.

The water underneath the dam and reservoir reaches flood stage at six feet.

According to the National Weather Service, the water was measured at 6.48 feet Monday afternoon.

That's a height the water hasn't reached since the 1940's.

"I've never seen it like this before," said Lisa Dahlke who owns a house on the Wisconsin River near Rainbow Lake.

The water coming out of the dam is being released a little faster than 3,000 cubic feet per second.

"I don't know how much fishing we are going to get in but the high water kind of messes that up," said fisherman Dan Eiden.


Eiden says he was here a few weeks ago and was disappointed to find out his favorite fishing spot is too dangerous to use.

Aside from messing up Eiden's fishing plans, the water is also flooding people's yards.

"We don't have a backyard right now because it's completely flooded in the back," said Dahlke.

Even though the flooding can be a nuisance people seem to be looking at the bright side of it all.

"Two weeks ago, we had to water the garden every day and now it's just the opposite," said Eiden with a laugh.

"We just have less grass to cut right now," said Dahlke about her flooded backyard.

The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company said it will slowly start releasing less water out of the dam Tuesday.

But they plan to keep the gates open until the end of this week.




Story By: Erin Beu

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 LOCAL NEWS

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NORTHWOODS - "I have not seeing anything like this," said Mark Schoppe as he stared into a giant hole on part of the Tuscobia Trail. 

Over the weekend, a large whole ended up on part of the trail because of the storm.

"This part of the trail which is a railroad bed runs 75 miles from Rice Lake to Park Falls," said Schoppe. 

Schoppe is a member of the Sno-Gypsies Snowmobile Club out of Park Falls. He says this type of damage could take a while to fix.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK -
Heavy rain this weekend nearly delayed the start of Lake Tomahawk's snowshoe baseball season.

The Snowhawks will begin their 12 game schedule Monday night against Newswatch 12.

Early Monday, it looked like the field at Snowshoe Park might be too wet to play on.

Snowhawks Manager Jeff Smith said the sun Monday afternoon has helped prepare the wood chips on the field for the game.

"Once you get them ruffed up, it kind of pulls the moisture out. It's kind of nice to have the sun going, because it will dry some of that right up. It takes a little while, it takes a little wind, but with everything going on now it's going to make big improvements by game time," said Smith.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - Police believe a man died because of flooding in Ashland County. 

First responders found Thomas Koeper, 75, of Mason, Wisconsin near his truck in the Township of White River. 

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MERCER -
People knew "Bike the Heart" as Vilas County's bike trail system.

Now that's changing as Mercer is now a part of "Bike the Heart."

That means the entire trail is more than 50 miles long!

But you'll have to wait until next month for Mercer's piece to be totally paved.

"It's been going for a long time. To be the last sort of Northern point of the trail for now, we are honored and excited about it," says Mercer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Wetzler.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

NORTHWESTERN WI - Heavy rains have caused an earthen dam to fail in a rural area of northwestern Wisconsin.

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Keith Kesler says he's unaware of any evacuations from the damage Monday. Few people live in the area.

Kesler says water is overtopping the Radigan Flowage Dam west of Dairlyland after several days of rain.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court rules against Wisconsin Democrats in the fight over the drawing of legislative boundaries.

Democrats believe current maps give Republicans an unfair advantage in elections.

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WINNEBAGO, WI - People should be on the lookout of two men that escaped from the Winnebago Correctional Center.

James Heather and Alexander Weinmann escaped from the minimum security prison recently.

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MADISON - Only white men have served as governor in Wisconsin. It's a track record that three Democrats are looking to shatter this year.

Two women, Kelda Roys and Kathleen Vinehout, and one black man, Mahlon Mitchell, could make history if they win the primary and defeat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The other seven Democratic candidates are white men, just like every other governor in Wisconsin history.

Wisconsin is one of 28 states where at least one woman is expected to run for governor. Mitchell is one of at least eight black candidates running for governor nationwide.

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