ZANESVILLE, OH (WCMH) — Some of the ice jams on the Muskingum River are melting or moving downstream, but neighbors say that is causing problems of its own.
That island of ice is colliding up against a three-mile-long ice jam, causing not only ice but some water to stack up.
NBC4 traveled down both sides of the river from Dresden to Zanesville.
Along the Terrace Shores subdivision, an extremely long ice jam is stuck in place with fishing-boat-sized chunks of ice. Neighbors tell NBC4 this is about five miles north of Zanesville. The ice jam is not moving, but neighbors are concerned because they say ice has stacked up over a dozen feet and the water level has come up.
“It came up ten inches overnight and it is holding there right now,” says Gary Conley.
Conley says he has lived along the Muskingum River since 1979.
“This is the first time I’ve ever experienced anything of this magnitude,” he says.
Neighbor’s homes across the river along State route 666 have flooded or are surrounded by water. The ice jam farther north is moving and grinding everything in its path.
“It almost sounds like thunder cracking or car wrecks in the distance. Especially at night, sleeping up there I can hear it,” says Brady Smith.
He says docks are being crushed by the ice like matchsticks.
“There were about eight other docks pushed in front of here, but they are 100 or 200 yards down right now.”
Neighbors on both sides of the Muskingum River are keeping a close watch on the water level.
“It is probably four foot above what it was yesterday, at this same time. I’ve got a marker down at my neighbor’s house and we have been watching it,” Mike Thompson says. He has lived in Terrace Shores for 40 years and built many of the homes.
“I just talked to two of the township people, they were up at Ellis Dam and say there was a pontoon boat that went over the dam,” Thompson says.
All of that ice and water backed up from those ice jams will eventually have to come over the dam in downtown Zanesville and pass under the Y Bridge right after that.
The Muskingum County EMA Director Jeff Jadwin says there is a flood watch, but no mandatory evacuation. He is warning people to keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.