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‘It’s crazy:’ Ice jam on Fond du Lac River leads to flooding, more than 100 people evacuated

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FOND DU LAC -- Long-awaited warmer temperatures brought some major problems Thursday, March 14. More than 100 residents in the City of Fond du Lac were forced out of their homes as large amounts of ice piled up under city bridges and created what some said was the worst flooding in recent memory.

The Red Cross has set up four locations in the area for people displaced from the flooding.

Firefighters tried to cross deep water to rescue employees stranded at Sadoff Iron & Metal Company.

"The river was actually coming over into the road and within five minutes, we weren't able to get out," said Journey Krouner, stranded Sadoff Iron & Metal Company employee.

Before they could get across, fellow employees hopped on a truck and got them out themselves. Held up by a train, passing through the flood.

"We were trying to actually walk across but the river was so high, it was probably up to my waist," said Krouner.

Treading through chest-deep water, Korey Krupp assessed the damage at his parents' Fond du Lac home.

"Just to see all their stuff, their personal belongings floating. It's crazy," said Krupp.

Korey Krupp

Krupp's parents just left for a three-week vacation.

"They are actually in Florida on vacation. They go down every year," said Krupp.

Major flooding across the city was a result of a series of ice jams under the city's main bridges.

"We've had ice shoves out on the river that have caused a lot of problems for us. A lot of quick-melting snow, which is also adding to our troubles," said Chief Peter O'Leary, Fond du Lac Fire Department.

Hundreds of people were evacuated and displaced along the Fond du Lac River's edge.

"I wouldn't be out here if I didn't have to be out here," Chief O'Leary said.

(Courtesy: WLUK)

(Courtesy: WLUK)

With some heading to higher ground, others trudged through it.

"My original plan was to come to the 'Y,' but of course, the road was flooded out," said a Fond du Lac resident. "So I pared on the other side of the flood, took my shoes off and crossed over."

Businesses had to close early but some, like Salon 143, stayed open.

"Keeping our business open is really our main priority," said Ashlea Kmiecik, owner of Salon 143.

Ashlea Kmiecik

A shovel they had just been using for snow is now being used for the flooding.

"Pretty much have been shoveling out our driveway just to kind of keep some of that water out of the salon," said Kmiecik.

A problem of too much too quick left people like Krupp in desperate need of drying out.

"We can't really do anything until the water recedes," said Krupp.

(Courtesy: WLUK)

The ice jam occurred on the Fond du Lac River near the West 2nd Street bridge. The fire department was evacuating people who live along the river.

The gas and electricity was turned off in the area.

The Red Cross has set up four shelters, including the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. Buses were being provided to transport residents.

Details on shelters:

  • Fond du Lac - Community Church, N6717 Streblow Dr.
  • Fond du Lac - Harbor Haven, 459 E. 1st St.
  • Arcadia - Holy Family Catholic Church, 223 Maple St.
  • Lodi - Lodi Elementary School, 101 School St.

The shelter at in Prairie du Sac, located at Sauk Prairie High School, is no longer needed. However, displaced residents in Columbia County are invited to a shelter at Lodi Elementary, located at 101 School Street.

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