Rocky River On High Alert After Ice Jam Breaks Free


Rocky River on 2/21/14

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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- Residents living along the Rocky River are on high alert as the ice jams have broken up sending the water and ice flowing and water levels rising.

Flood warnings are still in effect for many parts of Northeast Ohio.

**Click here for details those alerts**

Around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon, the ice jam along the Rocky River broke free sending chunks of ice flowing towards Lake Erie.

Residents living in the basin area (South Island Drive, Riverdale Drive and Yacht Club Drive) were told to prepare to evacuate if necessary.

Once the jam broke free, police sounded their sirens and went door to door to let residents know to leave the area if they were concerned.

Click here to share flood photos.

"You immediately think about the safety of those who are along the river as well as the property along the river," said Rocky River Mayor Pam Bobst.

Right now, the greatest concern in Rocky River is the West Channel where the water is rising rapidly.

"We have great concern because residents are living in that area, we have evacuated that area, we started that very early this morning," Bobst said.

With so much ice and now heavy flowing water running toward Lake Erie, water levels are on the rise and residents are asked to stay vigilant.

"When that broke, the force that is breaks with and the swiftness of the water, it's a very, very dangerous situation," said the Mayor.

It was only a matter of time before the ice jam broke free. All morning long, the ice continued to jam up from Scenic Parkway. It moved all the way up to the Rocky River near the Detroit Road bridge.

"The thickness of the ice keeps the ice from moving out to the river, so it's caused the moving river to flow outside of its banks," said Lakewood Fire Chief Scott Gilman.

The Rocky River Fire Department is closely monitoring the situation as well. They are on standby if needed to assist in the event of evacuations or in an emergency.

"Absolutely, we have our rescue boats and exposure suits so we can work out in the cold water if need be and boats can access folks who end up with a high water problem," said Rocky River Fire Chief Christopher Flynn.

For now, the watching and waiting continues.

"That is first and foremost for us that our residents are kept safe,” said Bobst.

Fora list of area road closures, click here. 

Check the river level forecast here.

Data pix.

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