Ice Jams Subside In Rock Island County; Concern Moves North - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Ice Jams Subside In Rock Island County; Concern Moves North

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A completely different scene now in Moline on the Rock River, even compared to just a few days ago.

Right now, there isn't much ice at all on the Rock River and the ice jams have cleared. Water is flowing downstream easily and concerns for flooding have subsided. 

The Rock Island County Emergency Management Agency said they're still closely monitoring the area, but for now, with no ice jams visible on the river the risk for flooding has decreased.

Last Friday, homes along North Shore Drive were voluntarily evacuated and giant chunks of ice were getting caught on the supports underneath the I-74 bridge. 

The National Weather Service said an extremely cold winter caused ice depths of up to 2 feet in thickness. That increases the risk for ice jams, greatly, for our area. 

"So as the snow has melted and begun to melt in Northern Illinois the river levels have started to rise and then that started to break up some of the ice," said hydrologist for the National Weather Service Maren Stoflet. "The tricky part with ice jams is they're really difficult to forecast as far as the increase in river level as an ice jam or as flooding occurs from an ice jam."

Stoflet said the biggest area of concern right now is in Whiteside County. 

According to Sgt. Seth Janssen from the Whiteside County Emergency Management Agency and Sheriff's Department, areas downstream from the Rt. 30 Bridge in Como, the Moline Road rest area and downstream between Lyndon and Prophetstown have significant ice jams that they are monitoring closely. 

The ice jam causes water to rise behind the jam and sometimes even a small decrease in river levels downstream of it. The rising water levels behind the ice jam can cause flooding or when the jam breaks the water is released and can cause rapid flooding. 

They say trying to forecast when flooding will happen is very hard to do, but these situations need to be monitored closely as it can change very quickly. 

 

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