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Ice flows, flooding still a worry on the Susquehanna

Updated: Thursday, February 27 2014, 07:54 AM CST
Reported by: Chris Nallan

HARRISBURG -- The building ice on the Susquehanna brings building concern of ice jams, which can lead to flooding, a domino effect many know all too well.

Remember back in January when our own Chief Meteorologist Tom Russell was on City Island getting a firsthand look and feel of the moving ice.

"As you stand here you hear the rumble feels like an earthquake is what it feels like and the size of these chucks coming at us,” says Chief Meteorologist Tom Russell. 

Chunks of ice that have a force that could lead to disaster. Harrisburg is home to over 20 ice events in its history. With these ice events known as ice jams comes the risk of flooding. 

"I'm concerned that when it's start to thaw that we will get some flooding,” says Melanie Campbell. Melanie lives along the Susquehanna in Shipoke, a neighborhood in Harrisburg that is prone to flooding. Neighbor Judy Polliard has seen one too many floods at her home and shares with us her horrific experience.

"The last three we've got probably about three and a half to four feet usually as far as where my hand is so it takes renovating the basement the first floor again,” says Polliard.

David Wagner remains alert and knows that the weather this winter could still bring trouble. "It's always in the back your mind every snow storm every heavy rain,” says Wagner.

The heavy rain is another element that aids to this concern. Back in 1996 the ingredients came together. Ice jams, snow pack, sudden warming temperatures, and the heavy rain. A scenario that brings great concern to people like Judy who live along the Susquehanna.

"I'm not looking forward to that ice melting all at once, but I will be half ready if it does,” says Polliard.

So far this winter we've had several days at or below freezing. A short thaw allowing for some ice melt and now another hard freeze. One thing we don't want is a sudden warming and heavy rainfall. So far that is not in the forecast. Ice flows, flooding still a worry on the Susquehanna


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