Muskingum County residents keep close eye on ice jams

MUSKINGUM CO., OH (WCMH) — There are now multiple ice jams on the Muskingum River.

Some people in Muskingum County are asking officials to dynamite the ice jams, but officials say that could cause more harm than good.

Officials say the river is jammed up with ice in sections from Coshocton through Muskingum and into Morgan Counties. Muskingum County EMA Director Jeff Jadwin says they have concerns about what this weekend’s warmer and rainy weather might cause with the ice jams.

The newest ice jam has formed on the Muskingum River about five miles North of the Village of Dresden, it is miles-long and backing up into Coshocton County.

NBC4 met up with Curtis Kincheloe of Dresden as he checked on the family’s seasonal homes which back up on the Muskingum River.

“Cause it could spill over the banks to be honest, we are hoping it doesn’t,” Kincheloe says.

So far his boat and the neighbor’s deck are the only casualties. Although he said last weekend the water came up four feet after the initial ice jam.

“And as the ice broke up, it actually made the deck go way up in the air, and it pulled the poles completely out from under it,” says Kincheloe.

He admits he should have removed his boat in the fall, now it is slowly being crushed.

“It has actually ripped all the supports out of the front of it with the ice jammed up against it,” Kincheloe says.

That ice jam is south of the village of Dresden and formed a week ago. Kincheloe says when it moves it’s making eerie noises.

“When that ice breaks up it is a noise you have never heard in your life, almost sounds like thunder.”

The most recent ice jam north of Dresden has people concerned and asking the local EMA to dynamite the jams.

“We ought to be really concerned with if we do that we could cause a sudden rush of water downstream so, Coshocton has jams above us and Morgan County has jams below us,” Director Jadwin says.

He is hopeful the weather will cause the jam to slowly melt and release its grip.

He said he has consulted with people experienced in blowing up ice jams, and they are advising him to hold off. Muskingum and Coshocton County are monitoring cameras on the jams and he says neighbors are also watching the jams near their home.

Jadwin says the county has a reverse 911 call system set up and are also ready to send out alerts on other forms of communication if neighbors set up the service: Visit citizensalert60.org

You can also monitor events on the Muskingum County EMA and LEPC Facebook page.

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