SHEBOYGAN — Ice jams on the Sheboygan River are causing water to overflow onto streets.
“Everything in my garage is a total loss,” said Walter Carrothers, who lives on New Jersey Avenue, one of the worst-hit areas. “I have nearly a foot of water in my basement. We’re doing all we can to try and pump it out. We’re waiting to see if we’re going to be evacuated.”
The water started rising before the sun came up Friday.
“My wife woke me up,” Carrothers said. “She was freaking out, saying we were under water. We need some sandbags. I’ve reached out to the city, fire department and even put out a message on Facebook. No one has sandbags.”
“I have nearly a foot of water in my basement. We’re doing all we can to try and pump it out. We’re waiting to see if we’re going to be evacuated.” — Walter Carrothers
David Beibel, Sheboygan’s director of public works, said city crews have few sandbags to spare now.
“We first have to use the sandbags to secure critical operation facilities, like where the sewer pumping is done,” Beibel said. “But we’re trying to get any extra out to homeowners. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, this is way too much water than pumps can handle.”
City crews are also closely monitoring several intersections. Some lanes are blocked off at Indiana Avenue and Taylor Drive because water is filling the road.
“That’s right where the ice is jamming,” Beibel said. “There’s really not much we can do to alleviate that because we don’t have the ability to get equipment and access the river where this incident is occurring.”
Beibel urges people not to ignore barricades or drive through water. Many drivers have already gotten stuck in floodwaters.
“They think it’s a few inches, and it ends up being 4 feet,” he said. “It’s really dangerous. Just don’t risk it."
He said people who live near the rising water should be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.