Ice Jams Cause Flooding on FDL River near Downtown

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