UPDATE: Neighbors help evacuees after flooding in Adams County - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATE: Neighbors help evacuees after flooding in Adams County

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Adams County sheriff's officials say a dike leaked just north of a private dam on Friendship Lake, causing flooding near Friendship Park.

One man is hopeful this will one day all be water under the bridge. Winn Jones says Saturday was a rude awakening for people in the area. 

"To be honest, this used to be my fishing hole, and I've never seen the water this high before," Jones tells 27 News.

It's why he came out to help the evacuated families, volunteering with the Red Cross. Jones says one evacuated family came by to get some help.

"I found out it's kinda in your own backyard, it kind of hits home personally," he says.

While the waters ebb, his worries grow. The flooding came as a shock to Sheriff Sam Woolin, too.

"I was very surprised. We weren't expecting any rising waters to happen," Woolin tells 27 News. 

Local officials are urging the public to not take any chances or cross any rushing water, while making sure those bridges and roadways are structurally sound with potential washout.

A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesperson tells 27 News the agency's dam experts are inspecting the failed dike and the dam. 

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Adams County authorities have, as of 3:00 p.m. Saturday, re-opened State Highway 13  North of County Highway J in Friendship.

County Emergency Management Director Jane M. Gervais says, however, County Highway N North of County Highway J is still closed due to dam water being released Saturday morning. She suggests you find alternate routes if you need to go to that area. 

Also, the reception center area for displaced persons also now has been closed.

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Channel 27's Kathryn Larson and photojournalist Bryan Troxel are on the scene in Adams County and have been speaking further with Sheriff Sam Woolin to find out more about what's happened. 

The sheriff confirms, "There's not a dam failure. I know there's been some rumors out there, but that's not the case...they had to open up the dam to relieve the pressure from a dike north of the dam where water was seeping underneath."

The sheriff says the seepage has since subsided since the dam was opened up earlier this morning.

But he says, "With the opening of the dam, that's caused concern with the creek that's west of here. It goes all the way out to Castle Rock Lake and residents along the way could potentially be washed out. 

Sheriff Woolin says they've done voluntary evacuations of about seven homes along the way, but it's unknown when those residents will be allowed to return.  

He says it's also the first time they've had to deal with this kind of situation and they did the best they could in trying to notify residents that the dam would be opened. 

He say the public was alerted via the Nixle system earlier Saturday morning, word was also sent out to local radio stations for broadcast and a news release was issued from his office, as well. Sheriff Woolin says his deputies also went house to house to alert the residents who might need to be evacuated.  

Red Cross officials say they've opened a reception center at 507 West Lake Street in Friendship. It's now staffed with volunteers.

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- The Adams County Sheriff's Office says the Friendship Dam did not fail, but said "high volumes of water are being released from the Friendship Lake Dam". 

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Adams County until 10 p.m. Saturday. 

Here is the full statement from the National Weather Service: 

"Recent heavy rains across Adams County caused the water levels on Friendship Lake to become very high. As a result, high volumes of water are being released from the Friendship Lake dam. This release of water could result in high water levels along the Little Roche A Cri Creek from the dam downstream to Castle Rock Lake. According the the Adams County Sheriffs [sic] Office." 

The Adams County Sheriff's Office could not tell 27 News whether the high waters were released purposefully or accidentally. 

Authorities tells 27 News Highway 13 is shut down between Highway 21 and County Highway J. Officials are on scene to re-route drivers. 

27 News has a crew on the way there and will bring you the latest details as we get them. 

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ADAMS COUNTY (WKOW) -- Officials are trying to figure out who to evacuate in Adams County after the failure of the Friendship Dam. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Adams County until 10 p.m. Saturday. 

Laurie VanderJagt of The Red Cross says five to seven families live past the dam and may have to be evacuated, but officials are working on figuring out those details right now.

The Red Cross confirmed in a tweet Saturday morning the dam failed. It's opening a reception center at 507 West Lake Street in Friendship. VanderJagt says as of 9 a.m., a volunteer is there but no residents have shown up yet. 

Multiple tips have come into the 27 Newsroom about an issue with the dam starting at about 8 Saturday morning. A video taken by Todd Allard shows flooding near the dam. 

The Adams County Sheriff's Office says it does not have anyone who will confirm information to us. Officials hope to have more details to give us within the next few hours. 

27 News has a crew on the way there and will bring you the latest details as we get them. 

Here is the video from Todd Allard:

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