Maumee River ice jam threatens flooding

<font size="2">The recent warm weather has melted some of the ice on the Maumee River and that could be a cause for concern.</font>

Emergency Management Agency officials are keeping a close eye on an ice jam that could pose a problem to residents along the Maumee River.

The mile-long frozen mass lies just west of Grand Rapids in Henry County. The ice jam formed several weeks ago and has already caused minor flooding along the river banks in parts of Defiance, Henry and Wood County. The recent warm weather has melted some of the ice and that could be a cause for concern.

â??Where we get into trouble is where very large chunks of ice start to nose-dive into the water and embed into the bottom of the river and actually starts creating a dam where it starts backing up water,â?? said Wood County EMA Director Brad Gilbert. He continued, â??Then weâ??re looking at flooding issues behind the dam.â??

At about 13 feet, water levels were not outside the normal range in Grand Rapids. Gilbert will continue to monitor the river as it is expected to crest on Sunday night.

â??Once we get past that crest the actual threat of ice jam back-ups will start to reduce,â?? said Gilbert. He added, â??It looks like itâ??s in pretty good shape right now but itâ??s just one of those things we want to keep our eye on.â??

As of Sunday evening, downtown Grand Rapids businesses had not been affected by the ice jam.