Delaware River ice jams bring flooding concerns for Trenton

Watch report from Action News
January 24, 2014 3:56:58 PM PST
The icy situation on the Delaware River is growing, and with below freezing temperatures sticking around, the ice may not being going anywhere anytime soon.

The ice in the Trenton area appears to be spreading from bank to bank.

"Oh, it's magnificent," said Jim Drabick. "It's just the ultimate nature. I mean there's nothing like it and it only happens so often and you have to appreciate it while it's here."

There's something about the frozen river that just draws people.

Photographer Jim Drabick of Feasterville spent the day snapping pictures of the Delaware River. He loves capturing images of the frozen river where some of the ice chunks are as big as tabletops.

"Not a soul around except for deer. All you hear is like little crashes of ice hitting into each other. It was beautiful," said Drabick.

Victoria Mercer of New Hope stopped by the Yardley boat ramp to take a picture. The river is still moving, but it is filled with ice.

"Normally in the summer time, people are out here jet skiing and tubing and being in the water. Obviously on a day like today, it's nice to stay on the shore and watch it. It's solid looking and it's fast, so it's a little scary but it's beautiful at the same time," said Victoria Mercer.

"This year, it is very light and pretty," said Barbara Lots. "I followed it all the way down from Titusville where I work and I thought I'd stop here at the boat ramp and take some pictures."

At the Yardley boat ramp on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware, the ice-filled River is still moving, but just a couple miles down in Trenton the jam begins.

Parts of the River are frozen solid with big chunks of ice several inches thick.

When the ice jammed up near Trenton two weeks ago, it triggered street flooding along Route 29 near the State House.

Trenton's Fire Director, who also heads Emergency Management, says there's no indication flooding like that will be an issue again, but officials will be monitoring the River alert for one of two situations.

"The River is not moving because of the ice jams and it just pushes everything up. The other scenario is if in fact it breaks up or melts and it's done rapidly, we have a surge of water," explained Quareeb Bashir.

That could lead to flooding.

Chris Migliacci of the city's Island section says residents there are also watching the river from their front porches.

"We keep an eye on it and we don't panic until it's time to panic, because we've been evacuated and re-evacuated a couple of times and it's really been for nothing," said Migliacci.

"With the ice jams, it's just unpredictable. That's why we are just on a high state of alert because we just cannot predict where or what is going to happen," said Bashir.

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