Ice chunks could create flooding in Palouse

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by BRIANA BERMENSOLO & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on February 14, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 14 at 8:41 PM

PALOUSE, Wash. -- Chunks of ice may create flooding in the town of Palouse this weekend.

Hydrologists in the National Weather Service in Spokane are tracking activity an hour and a half south along the Palouse River. Areas where heavy ice formed in January are breaking off into the fast moving waters creating the threat of ice jams.

Local hydrologists think the ice jams along the Palouse could cause a problem because everything is melting so quickly.

“We call it an ice jam because that’s really what it is. A moving dam of ice that just slowly works its way down the river,” said Hydrologist Mark Turner.

The dam-like structures in the river can build rapidly and release suddenly. There is more ice than normal because temperatures have not climbed about freezing in Palouse since January 15 until this week.

“If we get what we're expecting for the next few days these systems of storms moving through dumping rain on top of this ground it will move down the river in places that can cause problems,” said Turner.

The most likely places an ice jam will cause a problem is shallow water. If you see ice jams forming or causing problems you are asked to call local law enforcement.

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