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Ice jam flooding forces residents out of homes

Posted at 11:03 AM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 11:03:21-05

FORT COVINGTON, NY (YNN SYRACUSE, SPECTRUM NEWS/CNN) — Residents of an upstate New York community got quite a scare Saturday night after an ice jam on a river burst open, causing flooding and home evacuations.

The jam – a dam on a river formed by ice blocks – broke on the Salmon River around midnight Saturday in the town of Fort Covington, forcing more than 30 residents to flee and more than 20 homes to be evacuated.

"Within about eight minutes all these places flooded," said Ricky Provost, emergency services director for Franklin County.

A similar event happened in Fort Covington in 2010, but it did not cause as much flooding as the weekend jam breakage Provost said.

"It was just a river coming across there,” said resident Loren Wylie. “Nothing but water and ice."

Residents say the flooding has gone down since midnight, but there is still a considerable amount of standing water on the ground.

"Get dressed and get out,” Wylie said. “Stand back and watch it. It's all you can do."

Provost says the flooding extends far beyond the Salmon River, and that dropping temperatures will impact the standing water.

"It will be frozen a lot more than it is right now," said Provost.

As for what’s next, Provost says the town will have to wait for nature to take its course.

"Really, we have to wait to see how much freezes up and when the water goes down, and we're not expecting it anytime soon," Provost said.

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