Heavy Equipment Used to Break Ice Jam

LEWIS TOWNSHIP -- Crews in Union County are trying to fix an ice jam over Penns Creek that has people stuck in their homes.

The ice started forming Friday night and never melted.

The ice jam along Penns Creek near Millmont led officials in Union County to declare it a disaster. Roads are closed and people cannot get in or out.

"We have been working on this stretch the entire weekend since it has started and trying to figure out the best solution," said Union County EMA director Michelle Dietrich.

Union County officials met with the Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

They decided to use heavy equipment to try to break up the ice jam.

"The problem is trying to get in there and do something that doesn't aggravate the situation and make it worse in the current spot or downstream," said Union County Commissioner John Showers.

Due to flooding from the ice jam, Millmont Road is closed. Two other bridges in the area are also not usable.

Officials came in and cleared large chunks of ice from the roadway to make sure emergency vehicles could get through.

"As well as feed trucks for the farmer that lives on the other side," Dietrich added.

Residents who were frustrated all weekend tell Newswatch 16 they're happy something is being done.

"Reassuring, I guess, now that we know there's something actually going to get done. We're not just stranded here wondering for how long," said resident Anne Heimbach.

"I'm really happy to see finally something happening. I really hope it works. I guess time will tell," said Lynn Libby.

Crews plan to work on the ice jam during daylight hours for as long as it takes to fix it. Officials ask sightseers not to go there. There is only one road in and out of the area and it needs to stay open.