Forest Service assessing Forest County dam damaged by heavy rains

Drivers are warned local roads were damaged, too
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 5:05 PM CDT
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LAONA, Wis. (WBAY) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Forest Service engineers and contractors, along with local authorities, are assessing damage to the Waupee Dam that straddles Forest and Oconto counties.

The USDA says heavy rains Tuesday night damaged the dam and several roads, and there’s minor flooding below the dam. The area is closed off to visitors, including a boat landing, camping site and access road.

The dam was already weakened. Repairs started last month to address the deteriorating structure which was rebuilt in 1991. Rock was added around the inlet and emergency spillway to repair erosion damage in 2014, but that fix was erased by erosion over the next few years. When the water was drawn down for the repairs, crews discovered water escaping through a break in the connection between the concrete inlet structure and a concrete pile that exits into Waupee Creek. The Forest Service made temporary repairs and laid out a plan last year for major replacement and repair work.

The Forest Service says with more rain in the forecast it will continue monitoring the dam and local roads. It’s advising drivers to watch out for heavy equipment making repairs to roads over the coming weeks and to reduce speed and beware of soft shoulders and washed out culverts.

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