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Ice Jams Cause Flooding on FDL River near Downtown

14-Mar-2019

Public works crews work to clear ice from the Fond du Lac River to alleviate flooding concerns near downtown


A Flood Warning was issued for the east branch of the Fond du Lac River near downtown Fond du Lac after ice jams have blocked water flow and caused waters to rise rapidly. The weather service put that warning into effect around mid-day today (Thursday), but it was in the early morning hours that concerns began. Warmer temperatures have caused snow to melt, and ice on the river to break up. That, along with the rising water levels caused the ice to back up near the bridges over the river between Ninth Street and Division Street in Fond du Lac.


Public Works crews worked through the day to get as much of the loose ice off the river as they can to get water flowing again. Public Works Director Jordan Skiff says the concern for flooding won’t necessarily be over when the ice is cleaned up. “Unfortunately, we have so much water volume that I’m concerned, especially with snow continuing to melt and some rain in the forecast, that even once we get those ice flows out of there that there will still be a large concern of flooding from those waterways,” he said. Residents in the area of Western Avenue and Oak Street were evacuated Thursday morning, including an apartment complex at 101 Western Avenue. Around 20 homes were also evacuated. Alliant Energy crews were also around the area to assess the need to shut off gas and electric service to homes near the floodwaters. People who were evacuated were taken originally to the Rec Center at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds for an emergency shelter.


The flooding issues were not limited to just downtown. Skiff told us that over on the east side of town near DeNeveu Creek – homeowners in the area were concerned with rising waters early Thursday morning. “Some ice there was causing some surface flooding. By about seven in the morning, we had the pump stations kicking the water into the creek and the ice had been cleared  so that water was flowing freely, but again the height or the depth of the water is the concern.”


Residents affected by today’s flooding can call 2-1-1 for the latest information. If it is a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.


See drone footage of the flooding


See more photos of Thursday's flooding

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