Monroe County is one of several areas in Wisconsin seeing damage from flooding.

The dam holding up water from Perch Lake in Fisherman's Park in Sparta was busy Thursday.

The water caused several parks downstream to be closed from flooding.

Sparta officials say despite this being some of the worst flooding they have seen, the city is prepared to handle the water.

Dennis Bernett is no stranger to Sparta. He loves using his extra time in retirement on the river near Perch Lake.

"It's becoming quite the popular kayaking and canoeing river from here down to Rockland and Bangor,” Bernett said.

He knows the area river like the back of his hand, but what he sees on the river Thursday is far different than anything he's seen.

"Occasionally this river gets pretty full and swollen, but this is first I've ever seen it this big,” Bernett said.

Sparta Parks and Recreation officials say this area is especially prone to flooding.

"We've got the conjoining of the La Crosse River, Beaver Creek, Farmer's Valley, all meet in this park, so we generally see some significant flooding in this area,” Brad Gilbertson, director of Parks and Recreation for Sparta, said.

Officials say the flooding has hit hard this year.

"This is the highest I have ever seen the water in Sparta,” Gilbertson said. “Earlier, about a month ago, we had a significant flood on Beaver Creek, which is a smaller stream that comes into this town, which was very high. The La Crosse River never got this high."

Despite the flooding, officials don't expect much damage.

"Luckily, a lot of these rivers and banks have had stream-bank stabilization done to them, so we don't expect to see any significant damage to the area or erosion problems, however we will have a lot of debris cleanup to do,” Gilbertson said.

And while Bernett may enjoy his time on the river most days, he prefers to keep a safe distance for now.

"We're kayakers, and we wouldn't dare get on water like this, it's much too dangerous,” Bernett said.

Other places that have seen high water in Monroe County include Leon, which is just south of Sparta.

As of Thursday afternoon Icebox Road was submerged passing under the interstate.
Meanwhile, flooding from Wednesday’s rains caused families in several homes to be displaced over in the Goodman Court area of Sparta, which is located by the high school.

That area has since been cleaned up.