Cedar Rapids preparing for possible ice jams - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids preparing for possible ice jams

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Jeff McLaud is taking advantage of the ice still on the Cedar River to fill some holes in his houseboat.

"About the only time I can get out here is when the ice is frozen," said McLaud. "It's a little harder when there's open water."

But before the open water comes the thaw -- and that can cause problems for houseboat owners. Ice jams can form when the river starts to break up. Two years ago it caused several streets in Cedar Rapids to flood.

For houseboat owners, the jams can be problematic.

"It can cause broken cables, bent poles, stuff like that," said McLaud.

In 2013, the flooding got dangerously close to homes and businesses. Water covered streets.  

Looking at the river now you can see cracks starting to form, thin spots on the ice. The City of Cedar Rapids is preparing for the possibility of ice jams soon.

Ice jams are hard to predict which is why preparation is important.

"We have to make sure that everything is ready to go and ready for a quick rise and a quick thaw," said McLaud.

City officials say they're monitoring water levels in the river and are ready to react as necessary. Last year the flooding wasn't as bad as it was two years ago though some streets did close.

City officials expect river levels in Cedar Rapids to rise in the next 24 to 48 hours due to melting snow north of the city. They think ice in the city will begin to break up by the end of the week.


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