High Water Threatens Start of Season
Less than two weeks to go until our first scheduled water ski show, and high water again threatens to delay the start of the 2009 season.
According to the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service website, the Rock River at Newville is forecasted to reach flood stage on Saturday morning. The Rock River at Afton remains above flood stage. The Newville gage is a more accurate reading since it is upstream from where the team performs.
Gerry Luiting, our 2009 show director said, "Unlike in 2008, the Horicon Marsh is at or about normal, so barring any torrential rain events, the river should come down to an acceptable level in about three weeks."
While we have not officially canceled shows scheduled to begin Memorial Day weekend, it is very likely that at least the first four or five shows will be canceled. That will bring the total number of shows canceled to 36 since mid August 2007, including all of their shows in 2008.
Club president, Joel Shapiro, added that the team is working to replace the retaining wall and stage after the flood of 2008 destroyed both. "We did some demolition work and the contractor delivered some of the materials, but we can't proceed until the water comes down," he said. While we do not need a stage for our first few shows, we are slated to host the Wisconsin Water Ski Federation ski camp June 13-14 and the Mercury Open Tournament on June 27, and will need a stage for both events.
For now we will continue repairing and replacing items damaged or lost in 2008. We all remain optimistic that we'll be on the water in early June.