River ice could pose risks as temperatures warm

If ice jams break, they can cause rapid flooding

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – This winter has been filled with crazy weather, but one particular phenomenon is gathering a lot of attention here in western Massachusetts.

Huge ice chunks are now sitting along the banks of the Connecticut River near Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley, and people have been coming to the area all week just to see them in person.

The giant blocks broke up on the riverbank when the Connecticut River rose and the ice started to melt last week, with all the rain that we had.

Photos: Ice chunks along Connecticut River have become tourist attraction

At Brunelle’s Marina, the chunks of ice are not actually forming an ice jam, because the ice is not disrupting the flow of the river. However, with warming temperatures this weekend, it is not clear where ice will settle as it flows down the river. Flooding could potentially be an issue along the river, due to the moving ice.

It is not just the Connecticut River that has been seeing ice issues. Evacuations had to be put into place along the Millers River in Athol over the last week, as an ice jam blocked the flow of the river. If an ice jam suddenly breaks, it can cause rapid flooding downstream.