City officials warn to watch for large ice formations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City officials warn to watch for large ice formations

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - After weeks of snow, ice, and rain in Iowa, you may have noticed plenty of icicles hanging from building ledges. Some of them can get pretty large, and pose potential dangers to people walking near or beneath them.

There are no laws in Iowa City requiring building owners to knock down icicles or ice formations, but officials say when they become public safety hazards, action needs to be taken.

One such formation had to be taken down Tuesday afternoon, off a building in downtown Iowa City. After receiving calls about it, the city's building inspection office told the property's owners to take care of it.

"This particular case, I had about three calls within a half hour," said Jann Ream, a code enforcement assistant.

A bystander shot video of the formation with his mobile phone, as it came crashing down into the alley below. The city had the alley blocked off as it happened. Ream says this has happened before.

"Generally, they're just large icicles hanging down from roofs with certain configurations that channel the water."

Ream tells us this ice formation was unusually large, likely resulting from a blocked rain gutter. She says if you see one similar in size, to let city officials know about it.

"Your typical three or four-foot icicle is not an issue."

As dangerous as hanging ice can be, Ream reminds property owners that keeping ice off public sidewalks is a bigger concern.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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