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River drops slowly, easing Wis. flood conditions

A line of trucks and an SUV drive carefully on a water-covered Wood Street on Tuesday near the entrance to the Blackhawk Park area near Portage. (AP Photo/Portage Daily Register, Shannon Green)

A line of trucks and an SUV drive carefully on a water-covered Wood Street on Tuesday near the entrance to the Blackhawk Park area near Portage. (AP Photo/Portage Daily Register, Shannon Green)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin River is dropping, promising relief for the state’s flood-weary south-central section.

The river started overflowing its banks on Saturday after heavy rains to the north flowed downstream. The river poured around a levee and flooded low-lying areas in the town of Caledonia, just outside Portage. Dozens evacuated the area.

The river peaked at 20.6 feet on Monday, about three feet above flood stage.

State Department of Natural Resources spokesman Greg Matthews said the river was at 18.7 feet early Wednesday morning. He expects it will drop below flood stage by mid-afternoon.

Columbia County Emergency Management Director Pat Beghin didn’t immediately return a message seeking an update on when residents will be allowed to return to their homes.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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