Check River, Stream Levels Near You

Ice Jam Concerns Along Susquehanna River

WILKES-BARRE -- Along the banks of the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre is a sight many probably aren't used to seeing.

Instead of flowing water, blocks of ice stacked up and remained at a standstill Sunday.

Officials believe there is an ice jam near the Black Diamond railroad bridge.

According to the National Weather Service, the water level on the Susquehanna River rose about 15 feet overnight. At Nesbitt Park, the water level is less than two feet below flood stage, according to the NWS.

"It appears there's a small ice jam here right now, but the river is expected crest sometime over the next several hours or so at close to 21 feet. For the city of Wilkes-Barre, we're protected to about 42 feet," said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.

The Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency has been in constant contact with the National Weather Service to monitor the situation. The EMA tells Newswatch 16 that the Civil Air Patrol will be doing a flyover to keep an eye on the Susquehanna River.

"Right now, 20 feet we can handle. When we start getting to 22, 24, 29 feet, you start to see some damage. We're cautiously optimistic, and we're hoping that these ice jams break up and start flowing," said Lucille Morgan, director of Luzerne County EMA. "We've also been in contact with Columbia County to let them know the amount of ice and what might be coming."

"It's very cool looking. I've never seen anything like this. It looks terrifying, but it's also pretty cool because it's not moving," said Nic Spitler of Union Dale.

"I've never seen the river like that. It's amazing. At the same time, it's scary," said Manuel Rosado of Edwardsville.

"It's pretty neat where I live with a bunch of ice chunks. Just thinking if it was warm enough, we'd be flooded right now," said Justin Bagi of Plymouth.

The city closed Nesbitt Park Sunday afternoon due to concerns with the ice and flooding. Chief Delaney said that if all goes well, the park should reopen within two days.


  • Sad Times

    Everyone thumbs downing me and High “N” Drys flood posts, hope you and your friends, family live in a totally non flood zone…. Cause these ice jams in the River are BAD NEWS when we get heavy rain at any point between now and spring, with warm temps and ice snow melt, plus the rain, not good with these jams, I am telling the truth here

  • Ban Assault Ice

    It’s quite a phenomenon that ice forms when temperatures are below freezing. Truly amazing. (face palm)

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