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Officials monitoring ice jams on Susquehanna, smaller creeks under flood watch

Updated: Thursday, January 9 2014, 11:08 PM CST
Reported by: Ewa Roman

MIDDLETOWN -- Harrisburg officials are monitoring the ice jam on the Susquehanna River. 

"In 1936, the bigger flood, it was above the roof above us here," said Darius Jerome, a Middletown resident.

Jerome's house has been in the family for more than 160 years. It sits near the Swatara Creek in Middletown.

"In 1972, which was Hurricane Agnus, it was about half-way up the window right there where the silver bar is," said Jerome.

He's had to dry out plenty of times, but Thursday night he wasn't too worried about the ice jam on the river.

"Usually in the winter time, the ice jams up a bit further down here. It'll back up, the water will flow underneath, the only real danger is when the ice jam breaks," said Jerome.

Harrisburg officials say the ice clog is causing water to back up into the Swatara Creek in Middletown as well as causing a detectible rise in mainstream river levels upstream from Harrisburg.

"It's not an uncommon event. It just becomes something we have to closely monitor. Because when ice jams up, it can happen very quickly," said Brian Enterline, Harrisburg acting fire chief. 

Officials say at this time, the ice isn't thick, it's brittle, and flows nicely. They don't anticipate any major problems at this point.

Officials say another problem is people trying to get pictures near or on the ice. Police say that is never a good idea.

Officials monitoring ice jams on Susquehanna, smaller creeks under flood watch

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