The Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis., is creeping closer to flood stage, threatening a popular campground located along its banks.

The river was at 11.65 feet at 6 a.m. today (March 31), according to the National Weather Service website, just below the 12-foot flood stage. The website indicates the river should hit flood stage in La Crosse on Saturday.

According to the website, when the river stage is at 12 feet, Pettibone campground and RV park is flooded and some lowland flooding occurs in areas near the river.

The website also said the latest forecasts indicate an initial crest will occur between April 4 and April 6 along the Mississippi from Lake City and Wabasha, down through Winona and La Crosse, to McGregor and Guttenberg. The river is then expected to remain nearly steady or even fall a little into the second week of April.

But residents are urged not to let their guard down, as the river is then expected to begin rising again as snow to the north and west begins to melt and move downstream. The river will remain near or above flood stage through much of April and perhaps into early May, the weather service website said.