Another major ice jam expected on Allegheny River
The Allegheny River is poised to see its largest river ice jam in almost 20 years, according to the National Weather Service.
“The last time we had a major ice event was January 1996,” said Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Moon. “There was a lot of ice, primarily on the Allegheny River, and a decent snowpack.” A snowpack forms when snow from the surrounding countryside melts and runs into creeks, rivers and lakes.
“Rain covered the top (of the ice) and we had decently high temperatures,” he said. “It caused the ice to break loose and caused a lot of problems, including flooding in a lot of locations and river navigation headaches.”
Hendricks said the region's extremely cold temperatures won't break for at least another 10 days, so conditions will be ideal for the same situation to occur.
“It could turn out that way,” he said. “Temperatures really look like they'll have very few spots above 20 degrees the next seven to 10 days.
“Low temperatures overnight will be dropping to zero or near zero will cause more ice on rivers.”
Hendricks said the worst thing that could happen after the bitter cold spell is for temperatures to rise rapidly and rain to fall. “Worst case scenario is ending up with 6-inch snowpack up north and down by West Virginia,” he said. “And then have rather rapid warming with rain on top of it.
“That would cause, a problem of widespread flooding,” Hendricks said. “I remember in 1996 in Parker (Armstrong County), the river rose 8.5 feet in about three hours.”
Dan Jones, a spokesman for the region's Army Corps of Engineers, said the Corps will do as much as it can to contain some of the ice at its locks and dams on the Allegheny River.
“We will continue to lock ice as much as possible to help relieve any ice that's forming on the rivers,” Jones said. Locking ice is a method to push and break up ice along the river. A barge pushes ice into a lock, and the lock is closed with just the ice. The ice is moved through; then the barge is moved through after it.
“That's one measure we can take to help loosen it up.”
Jones said the Corps is watchful for potential flooding, which heavy rainfall could cause.
The ice keeps coming fast and furiously for Frank Manni, the owner of Manni's Lighthouse Landing marina, in New Kensington.
On Jan. 14, ice broke away upriver of the Ninth Street Bridge and damaged docks at the marina.
“We're still not fully cleaned up from the one last week,” he said. “That one caused about $200,000 in damage.
“There's nothing we can do (to stop it). We just have to stand here and take it.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man found dead in Lower Burrell
- CMU astronomer lectures to Highlands students about space in pilot program
- Long-awaited bridge expected to be completed in June
- Springdale family lifted ‘from embers to embrace’
- Allegheny Valley board candidates hold Colfax Elementary fate
- Drainage problems believed root of Ridge Road collapse in Harmar
- Filming for Cinemax TV series to divert traffic in Allegheny Township
- Indiana Township couple face illegal prescription charges
- Leechburg man held for trial in fatal wreck
- Man taken for wild ride on Route 28 says he was hanging on for dear life
- FirstEnergy halfway into 72-day, $60 million upgrade of Springdale facility