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Flooding on Blackhawk Road in April 2019 (copy)

West Lake Road in the town of Caledonia near Portage was closed to traffic Friday afternoon as the Wisconsin River's levels rose and spilled floodwaters across several residential areas.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management have issued an evacuation recommendation for residents along the Wisconsin River Saturday due to expected flooding.

Residents in the towns of Caledonia and Lewiston, particularly residents along Levee Road and Fairfield Street as well as the Blackhawk Park area, are encouraged to find alternative housing, Sheriff Roger Brandner said.

Water levels on the river are expected to rise more than 20 feet, Brandner said, and likely won't recede for several days.

"The anticipated levels appear to be reaching historic levels," Brandner said. "This is not a time to take chances with your lived or the lives of emergency responders."

The Department of Natural Resources is monitoring the earthen berms along the river, Brandner said, which are currently unstable.

The American Red Cross is active in the area and has resources available if anyone needs help finding shelter, Brandner said.

Anyone in need of help can call 608-742-4166 ext. 1.

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Shelley K. Mesch is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She earned a degree in journalism from DePaul University.