updated 3/15/2007 6:50:00 PM ET 2007-03-15T22:50:00

High temperatures throughout Iowa are causing headaches for some residents near rivers and streams that are overflowing their banks.

Along the Des Moines River near Fort Dodge, ice jammed up and created a blockage that caused flooding and closure of some streets, said Tony Jorgensen, of the Webster County Emergency Management Agency. He said the movement caused large chunks of ice to move into yards and across roads, and surround some houses with water.

The county had to deploy heavy machinery to remove some of the huge ice blocks that made their way onto roadways, said Sgt. Jayson Heesch with the Webster County sheriff's department.

He said at least one vehicle became submerged. The driver was able to escape the rising water, climb to the roof of his vehicle and wade through the water.

The National Weather Service issued flood watches and warnings across much of the state this week, including a flash flood watch for portions of central, north central and northwest Iowa.

Ice jams were also building up in the Des Moines River basin from the upper end of Saylorville Lake. The threat also includes portions of the Raccoon River basin.

These conditions were expected to persist for the rest of the week as snowmelt continues.

Terry Semprini and Brenda O'Tool, who live near the Des Moines River at Fort Dodge, said they discovered the rising waters when they let their dog outside early Wednesday morning.

"I can't believe how far up it got from the river," said O'Tool as the pair, clad in hip-waders, searched their double garage to inspect the damage.

"It's going to be a long day," Semprini said.

A flash flood alert was expected to last until Friday, especially around smaller creeks and streams. Lizard Creek was another area that could see flooding, Jorgensen said.

"With all the recent melting we've had, the water is just not soaking in," he said. "People are calling me saying they're seeing Lizard Creek coming up, and they're starting to get scared."

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