Residents downriver worry about ice jams, flooding - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Residents downriver worry about ice jams, flooding

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While the devastation is already evident in places like Haddam, towns downriver know the same ice is eventually going to be headed their way. (WFSB) While the devastation is already evident in places like Haddam, towns downriver know the same ice is eventually going to be headed their way. (WFSB)
DEEP RIVER, CT (WFSB) -

Dangerous ice jams are triggering helpless feelings in some parts of the state.

While the devastation is already evident in places like Haddam, which declared a state of emergency, towns downriver know the same ice is eventually going to be headed their way.

Ice cracking can be heard along the river, signaling the movement that's happening underneath it. But how it breaks and when it breaks is so unpredictable, it's causing concerns for locals. 

“There's so much ice all around it's crushing all the time,” said MacGuire Nelson, of Chester.

It sounds like a tree falling in the woods, but this winter, that's the sound of thick ice shattering.

The Nelson family lives at the Chrisholm Marina in Chester.

The ice has essentially enveloped their property and the marina parking lot.

“Just the backyard, the backyard has a hill, so I don't think we're in danger of our house. I don't know what the snow jam will be like when they cut through it and what the scenarios will be when the water does start flowing,” said Patrice Nelson, of Chester.

That's the concern in many neighborhoods along the Connecticut River. They see what's going on up north and know those massive, destructive ice chunks will eventually make its way down. 

“The tide pulls through here pretty hard and bringing the ice with it, it's like towing a freight train through here, you can't expect anything to hold up to that kind of force,” said Bryan Gibbins, of Deep River.

Seeing a wall of ice on the horizon at Deep River Landing makes Gibbins very nervous about what could happen at this boat launch.

“To see that beautiful platform and this get all ripped out and taken away would be devastating,” Gibbins said.

Even decades-old veterans of brutal winters are discovering this season is presenting brand new problems, and they say that foreign feeling is the scariest thing.

“We really haven't had to deal with anything like this before, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Gibbins said.

Coast guard crews will be out again Friday trying to break the ice up.

To see more photos of ice jams, click here.

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