Emergency Services Warns of Ice Jams and Possible Flooding Events

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PITTSBURGH – Matt Brown, Chief of Emergency Services, is warning of ice jams and possible flooding events in preparation for this weekend. Allegheny County Emergency Services (ACES) is
working closely with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Coast Guard, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to continue monitoring the situation. ACES is currently updating its
municipal emergency management coordinators and will provide additional updates for the public as information becomes available.

“Recent unseasonably cold weather has caused a buildup of ice and ice jams primarily on the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. Additionally, break away barges are impacting the operations of the US
Army Corps of Engineers Dam at Emsworth, PA. “The Allegheny River ice jam begins at the Springdale/Plum area and extends upriver past the Tarentum Bridge. The ice jam on the Ohio begins at the Emsworth Dam and extends upriver.

Additional rain this weekend and warmer temperatures increase the risk that these ice jams may break up or begin to flow. The Monongahela River could be impacted by water levels in the Pittsburgh pool, should river levels rise.

“Anyone along the path downstream of these jams may be impacted should these jams break up or begin to move. Additionally, tributaries of these rivers may also contain ice buildup or be unable to flow into the river, causing localized flooding.

“Industry, businesses and individuals who may be impacted are encouraged to take precautionary and protective actions:

• Prepare for flooding in areas along the rivers and their tributaries.
• Protect or remove any property which may be impacted by pieces of breakaway ice.
• Viewing (photographing and recording) of ice flows should be done by only exercising extreme caution.
• Monitor news media, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard and National Weather Service websites, for updates and current river conditions.

“Allegheny County Emergency Services stands ready to assist local emergency management coordinators and responders, as needed.”