Ice Jams Threaten Maine Communities - NECN

Ice Jams Threaten Maine Communities



    (NECN: Amy Sinclair) - Heavy rains and unseasonably warm temperatures have created a dangerous situation along Maine's Kennebec River. There's now a mile-long ice jam just north of Gardiner that's causing big problems for businesses and homes upriver.

    Spectators lined the banks of the Kennebec River to witness and record one of the longest ice jams in recent history. This ice shack was no match for the juggernaut of jagged ice.

    An ice jam in Gardiner means trouble upriver neighbors in Hallowell.

    While downtown Hallowell's Main Street is dry, cars and RVs parked along the riverfront are underwater, so is White Flour Catering's basement.

    Without power they had to bring in candles and generators to get the days meals out.

    Carla: "The electrician has to rewire so we could work the stove because we have five jobs."

    And they're still watching the Kennebec nervously. Emergency management officials say there's good reason to be afraid.

    Beau: "People want to get close and stand on the ice chunks. Not a good idea because it can move in seconds."

    It's possible that the ice jam will break up on its own but the emergency management team doesn't want to leave it to mother nature. They've asked a Coast Guard cutter to come in to break up the ice as far up as that bridge between Gardiner and Randolph."

    In the meantime, river residents try to keep their sense of humor.

    Because as these old watermarks clearly show, the flooding could have been a lot worse.