Eastlake officials on watch flooding of Chagrin River - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Eastlake officials on watch flooding of Chagrin River

Officials keeping an eye on ice jams on Chagrin River. Officials keeping an eye on ice jams on Chagrin River.

With all the snow and ice this week, people in Eastlake are keeping an eye on the Chagrin River.

The ice melt is well under way on the river. Most of the week the river has been covered with what is known as popcorn ice.  The remnants of ice from miles upstream that has broken loose and collected, as well as the flat ice that was already there. 

It is probably four to six inches thick.   For now just a surface ice jam.  Water is still flowing below the surface.  

Eastlake Fire Chief Ted Whittington checks the water level several times a day, using water level markings on the Lakeshore Blvd Bridge.  

He says that is the real concern.  He's watched the river for years and puts the chance of flooding at 50 - 50.

"Until the ice is actually pushed out, that's the things that we kind of watch you know this ice moving up and down.  Most of the residential areas along the bends there is where we see ice rise off you know on some of their property," said Whittington.

At the yacht club across the river many of the large boats are in dry dock  for winter.  The question is how long will they stay dry.  

Strangely enough the threat of flooding has been good for business at Trader Jacks right on the river's shore. 

The problem is that folks live at the end of the river, so any melting upstream, which spans some 80 miles, could clog and then flood the river.

The town's mayor has been watching the river for days and says the water level and the threat of flooding have both dropped. 

Residents will keep a close eye on the expected rain overnight which had a father and daughter building one last snowman that they don't want carried off by the Chagrin River just two doors down.

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