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Warmer temperatures could cause ice jams

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Dec 12 2013 06:37:06 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 12 2013 09:59:56 PM MST

Streams and creeks are most prone to jams.

MISSOULA, Mont. -

Warmer temperatures will soften ice packed waterways.

First Alert Weather and the National Weather Service said it's possible that western Montana's streams could see some flooding.

Cass Chinske knows Rattlesnake Creek as well as anybody. He's been enjoying it through all seasons for 43 years.

He couldn't resist a quick stroll across the creek which is covered in ice and is strong enough to hold his weight.

"Ice builds up on top," said Chinske, "and the water goes underneath and there are spots that are probably a foot thick."

When it warms up, crossing the ice won't be so easy without getting wet.

"After some warmer temperatures," said Bob Nester with the National Weather Service, "and the water goes underneath that ice, and then suddenly break up some of the ice jams, which if it happens, could produce some flooding."

Scientists don't expect major problems with Montana's rivers. They are more concerned about our streams and drainages.

The Missoula Office of Emergency Management asks people to pay close attention to waterways and to call 911 if there is a problem.

"There's that potential," said Chris Lounsbury, the director of Missoula County's office of emergency management, "you know for as water comes out of the banks there's danger to private property and we just want to try to avoid that as much as we can and get ahead of it."