Ice jams create significant flooding in Side Cut Metropark


    Flooding at Side Cut Metro Park (Chris Arbino/NBC 24)

    Ice jams, heavy rain, and rapidly thawing temperatures are creating flood problems in the Maumee river this week.

    Authorities have already closed off most of Side Cut Metro park and they're worried the worst of the flooding is not yet over.

    "We probably haven't seen the worst of it yet," said Metroparks spokesperson Scott Carpenter.

    The ice in the Maumee River is starting to break loose this week.

    "So far we haven't seen the large chunks of ice coming through the park, which is what really does damage," Carpenter said.

    That ice has been mainly contained within the river banks.

    While some of it can be seen floating through the heavily flooded Side Cut Park, it's not quite to the scale of the infamous flood of March 2015.

    "Very quickly, it went from bad to really bad. The water came up and into the park, then we were inundated with huge chunks of ice that would just mow down trees," Carpenter recalls. "I remember it took out some of our brand new light poles in the parking lot, and of course that's the year that also there was a lot of damage to the Maumee cemetery."

    Police have set up road blocks all around the river this week.

    Maumee police Cheif David Tillus fears that if anyone is caught up in the rivers powerful current, things could turn bad very quickly.

    "Even just to go down and look at it, it might be a cool thing to see, but if that water rises any further, you can get trapped down there and swept away, that river is extremely powerful," Tillus explained.

    That couldn't be anymore true. In less than 15 minutes, dry patches of pavement surrounding Side Cut park turned into calf-deep water capable of moving entire vehicles.

    With some area's forecasted to see over an inch of rain over the next few days, the water will continue to rise.

    "We can't breathe a sigh of relief just yet because the river is still coming up and there's still rain to come, along with ice that we know is still flowing over the providence dam further upstream," Carpenter said.

    As long as the flooding is mainly water, and absent of ice, the clean up effort shouldn't be too bad once the water recedes.

    "We've got our fingers crossed that we don't have a massive amount of large ice chunks coming down the river because that's really what does the damage," said Carpenter.

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