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Work to Clear Ice Jams Continues in Nicholson

NICHOLSON -- Crews are using heavy equipment to try to clear ice jams responsible for flooding roads and neighborhoods in part of Wyoming County.

Ice jams formed Tuesday on Martins Creek in Nicholson, backing up the creek and causing flooding in the borough and surrounding area.

Wyoming County Emergency Management officials say crews will work all day and all night on the creek until the ice is broken up.

Seven homes in Nicholson have been affected by Tuesday's high water  -- mostly basement flooding.

The water in Martins Creek is flowing underneath the ice after crews were able to dig under and alleviate the pressure but they still haven't been able to break up all of the ice.

Neighbors say the water levels rose so quickly Tuesday that before they knew it, basements and yards in this part of the Nicholson borough were flooded. Now, crews are still working to break up the ice on Martins Creek.

"The plan here today is whatever goes down the creek, if we can get it open and get it down the creek. If not, we're going to take the ice out of the creek," Wyoming County Emergency Management Director Gene Dziak said.

Wyoming County Emergency Management officials say Wednesday night is their deadline. They will work until the ice jams on Martins Creek in Nicholson are broken up.

"It was really, 'what?' you hear about it, but then I went and I've never seen something like that on both sides of the river," said Robin Emmerich.

For the second day in a row, neighbors gathered to watch in amazement.

"We're next to the creek so there's a lot of ice in the yard. The water is coming up, so we're just keeping a close eye on it, watching it, making sure it doesn't get too bad," said Mindy Loch.

Seven homes and businesses were affected by flooding mainly in basements. While ice jams of this size are a new concept to many in this area, flooding is not.

"This is the third time, third time for a big scare. So we've managed to figure it out at this point. No files are down there or anything of importance," said Emmerich.

"The bad part of this is we're affecting people. We're affecting their homes. We're affecting their lives, and I want to reduce that," Dziak said.

For folks living and working in this part of Nicholson, the unknown of what's next is the scariest part.

"Then you hear about the backlash and it comes back into town. So it's a waiting game, and waiting isn't my virtue," Emmerich added.

Emergency management officials say their biggest concern is even though it is going to be cold the next few days, another warmup this weekend could again cause flooding to homes in businesses in this part of the Nicholson.

Traffic is currently getting through as usual on Route 92.

Flood warnings for the area are in effect until Wednesday afternoon.

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