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Some Floods, Ice Jams . . .

Ice Jam in Athol, Massachusetts. (WJAR)

Ice Jams happen on rivers, creeks, and streams when those bodies of water that have a top layer frozen over in an Arctic cold snap, like we experienced in Southern New England, that gets broken up by the surging flow below. Some of those chunks can get as big as cars, flipped over once broken that can lodge up against debris, or other impediments like bridges. When that happens, rapid flooding can take place at or behind the jam, then down stream or down river if and when the jam breaks loose.

While reporting on the potential for that to happen in Southern New England with the 2-4" of rain that was on the way, I was amazed at the Blackstone River, its top layer frozen thick, but seeing the flow going fast over the Falls in Woonsocket.


It was mostly frozen over all the way down to Pawtucket. Fortunately, as of this writing (Saturday night, 10 p.m.), with most rivers that went in to minor flood from the sheer volume of water brought on by the heavy rain at their peak, or slowly going down, there has been no major Ice Jam flooding.

Now, the colder air is back, and should last through midweek with a few chances of snow, before another warm-up at the end of the week, with possibly another mild, gusty, rain-maker next Sunday night 1/21 into Monday 1/22.

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