ATHOL, Mass. (WWLP)- All eyes are on an ice jam on the Millers River.
Ice chunks damaged the Exchange Street Bridge during a flood earlier this month. The Athol Fire Department was closely monitoring the river Tuesday with the heavy rain and 40-degree temperatures.
“Right now we are keeping our fingers crossed everything looks good for now, even with the warm temperatures we are getting we don’t see a real quick ice melt like we did last week,” said Athol Fire Chief John Duguay
The Millers River flows directly behind the Morton Meadows housing complex. The river is filled with ice chunks even here, where its downstream. Tenants had to be ready to evacuate Tuesday with the river under flood watch. Morton Meadows is home to elderly, disabled, and low income tenants.
“I am nervous about the people in wheelchairs if it overflows, and the river gave way, they’d have trouble getting out,” said Keith Conway, resident at Morton Meadows.
“We just have all the tenants ready to go in a moments instance and told them to have clothing and their medications all ready to go,” said Christi Marin, Executive Director of the Athol Housing Authority.
Athol Fire Chief John Duguay told 22News they’ve been releasing water at the birch hill dam, but it hadn’t changed the river level.
The Exchange Street Bridge is expected to remain closed for at least another week.