ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – 18 News is keeping an eye on the ice jams that are beginning to form on local rivers and streams. The Chemung River in Downtown Elmira is frozen solid with snow covering the ice. While it might be pretty, this can cause serious issues come springtime when temperatures begin to warm-up. The melting ice can create ice jams in parts of the river which can lead to serious flooding under the perfect cirumstances.
“It would start now through mid March. It really is solely dependent on the amount of precipitation we have on the ground, how cold the cold cycles we get in that would create large ice james in the rivers. This year we do have alot of snowpack that’s got to come off still. Hopefully that will come off slowly and not all at once,” says Director of Public Planning and Safety for Bradford County Matthew Williams.
Williams went on to say how he works closely with the national weather service to monitor possible ice jam disasters. This year only shallow parts of rivers have frozen over such as the Chemung. Planners hope as temperatures are looking to gradully warm that ice jams will not pose too much of a dangerous threat this year.