Ice jams, snow melt unleash flooding in Fond du Lac

Fond du Lac, Wis. (WBAY) - Emergency crews have evacuated people from about 15 buildings during flooding in Fond du Lac.

Ice jams on East Branch of the Fond du Lac River on March 14, 2019 (WBAY photo)

Ice jams are blocking the river's flow and crews are working to strategically remove the ice. A FLOOD WARNING remains in effect until 11:30 a.m. CLICK HERE for Warnings, Watches and Advisories.

Evacuations have been happening along W 9th Street and Western Avenue. Alliant Energy is securing utilities in the area.

An evacuation shelter has been set up at the Fond du Lac Rec Center at the county fairgrounds. The American Red Cross says food and comfort will be available for people who need it. The organization is also reviewing more shelter options.

The Fond du Lac Fire Department urges flooding victims to call 211 for assistance.

A view from the Western Avenue bridge over the East Branch of the Fond du Lac River show ice jams and fallen trees blocking the river.

"What we're trying to do is we're trying to remove the ice so the water can flow better," says Fond du Lac Fire Department Division Chief Troy Haase. "The ice is up against the bridge and it can't flow through so it's backing the water up."

Haase says the area of Elm Street and South Street has 20 inches of water over the roads.

Haase tells our sister-station that fire crews are focusing on homes where elderly people live, including an apartment building on Western Avenue right at the river.

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Haase says the rising water is even threatening the Sheriff's Office garage.

Alliant has been going door-to-door to make sure gas and electric are shut off in affected homes.

Haase says some people have refused to evacuate, and he's concerned fire crews will have to go back to rescue those people.

City workers are trying to keep the water moving past ice jams caught up against bridges, but also want to make sure areas down river don't flood either.

Haase expects the flooding situation to last all day.

WBAY has crews in the area working to learn more information and we'll bring you updates as we get new details.

High water nearly covers a fire hydrant in Fond du Lac on March 14, 2019. (WBAY photo)
Ice jams on East Branch of the Fond du Lac River on March 14, 2019 (WBAY photo)
Ice jams on East Branch of the Fond du Lac River on March 14, 2019 (WBAY photo)