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Officials in Columbia and Sauk counties ordered evacuations along Levee Road Sunday night after floodwaters weakened the Caledonia Levee along the Wisconsin River near Portage.

Sheriff’s deputies were enforcing the previous closure of an 8-mile section of Levee Road, stretching from Schepp Road on the west to the intersection of Fairfield Street and Highway 33 to the east.

Law enforcement officers were notifying all residents along this section of road to evacuate.

The American Red Cross has established a shelter for those affected at the Portage United Methodist Church, 1804 Pinery Road.

The state Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring the levees since the river reached major flood stage around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. DNR staff assessing the Caledonia Levee, which roughly parallels Levee Road, discovered Sunday evening that areas of seepage had worsened, weakening the levee.

Emergency staff have been ordered off the levee, which will now be monitored remotely.

“We are working in close cooperation with city and county emergency officials,” DNR incident commander Rebecca Mouw said. “Our priority is the safety of the public and emergency responders.”

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