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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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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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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/18/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


Storms over the weekend produced heavy rain and high winds causing damage throughout the Northwoods. We'll take you to Rainbow Flowage and the Park Falls area to show you some of the flooding in those areas.

And we'll show you video of students from Prentice and Rib Lake helping to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D.C.


We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WOODRUFF - A Northwoods coffee shop known for its food truck operation recently found a permanent location. The Milky Way Coffee Company had the grand opening of its new shop in Woodruff Sunday.

The new coffee house is inside the Lakeland Plaza which sits on the corner of Highway 51 and Townline Road. The two sisters who own the company converted what was once a bank into a coffee shop.

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EAGLE RIVER - A week long workshop in Eagle River shows students they're not alone in their passion for nature. Kids from all over the Midwest arrived at the Trees for Tomorrow campsite for the first day of The Natural Resources Career Workshop.

Out of towners visit the Northwoods to escape noise, and enjoy some peace and quiet. 

"I just like being out in nature instead of one of those people playing video games constantly," said 16-year-old Austin Shimeck.

The Natural Resources Career Workshop turned the benefits of visiting the Northwoods into a classroom. 

"Giving them the experience that some of these students may not have had," said Trees for Tomorrow Coordinator Vernon Gentele. 
 
High school students from all over the mid-west came to the camp to explore the unique environment. 

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