We Energies begins maintenance on Pine River dam

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — We Energies will begin lowering the reservoir upstream from the Pine Hydroelectric Power Plant near Florence, Wis., beginning this week.

The reservoir will be lowered about 12 feet from its normal elevation. We Energies’ public campground at recreation site No. 34 on the Pine River will be closed during construction activities for public safety.

The temporary drawdown is required for necessary maintenance at Pine Dam. Maintenance work is anticipated to be completed in December. The reservoir is scheduled to begin refilling as soon as maintenance is completed. The refill rate and timing is dependent upon precipitation runoff.

During the drawdown, motor vehicles and ATVs are not allowed on the exposed reservoir bed, metal detecting is not allowed and removal of driftwood is strictly prohibited. While recreation site No. 24 will remain open for camping, launching trailered boats is prohibited.

Safety precautions include:

— Avoid construction areas.

— Obey all warning signs and heed flashing lights, horns or sirens.

— Be aware of rapidly changing water conditions.

— Be aware of navigational hazards such as logs, stumps and trees when boating.

— Bring a cell phone and contact 911 in an emergency.

— Wear a personal flotation device (life jacket) while boating.

— Stay outside buoy lines.

— Have a safe escape route planned when near a dam and evacuate at the first sign of danger.

— Use caution when carrying boats or canoes to/from navigable waters.