Rock River rising in Janesville

Posted at 8:15 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 21:15:11-04

River levels at the Rock River in Janesville have risen to on 9 feet and for some residents, it’s something they have never seen before.

“The river has never been flowing this hard or fast, I ain’t never seen nothing like it,” said Lamar McAllister, longtime Janesville resident.

Moderate to heavy rainfall over the past few days has contributed to the Rock River rising above 9 feet but Scott Purlee, Regional Manager of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy said the recent rise is not uncommon and due to a build-up of previous precipitation.

“There was a late snow and that kicked up the water level quite a bit as that snow melt started to come down and then there’s this rain now that’s keeping it up again,” said Purlee.

The Centerway Dam on the Rock River has two 1927 vintage generators that have been working overtime to keep up with the rising river levels.

Purlee believes it will take long time for levels to reach summertime low levels but only a short time to drop below flood stage.

Once levels go down, the river will reopen for activities such as canoeing and fishing.