As temperatures warm, ice jams a growing concern

By: Drew Williams, Nikki Junewicz Email
By: Drew Williams, Nikki Junewicz Email
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) Warmer temperatures are in the forecast, and that means flooding and ice jams could become a problem.

Ice jams can form when chunks of ice break off upstream, and float further downstream.

These ice chunks can start to pile up usually near a bridge or some structure built in the river.

Also, they're prone to forming in areas where the river makes sharp turns.

Tom Hurley with Eau Claire County Emergency Management says, the mix of occasional cold days and nights we've had have helped with a slower snow melting season, and less ice jamming.

"We've had a fair amount of melting, but getting down below freezing at night has helped control the amount of snow that we've seen melt. So that helps with the overall flow, that we're currently seeing. So just a slightly increased risk compared to last year," says Hurley.

Hurley says flooding associated with ice jams is usually localized and doesn't last very long.

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