Rocky River Residents Breathe a Sigh of Relief - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Rocky River Residents Breathe a Sigh of Relief

ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) -

Sunday, Feb. 23 is set aside for cleanup in Rocky River where ice jams broke and caused flooding at the mouth of the river. 

Boat docks, break walls and some boats were destroyed; but for the most part, things turned out much better than expected. 

There wasn't any flooding inside the homes that are tucked away where the Rocky River meets Lake Erie.

A massive ice jam broke on Friday releasing the pressure of thousands of gallons of melted snow and ice that built up over one of the coldest winters in decades.

"When it went down it was like someone pulled the plug out of the bathtub. It just went down that rapidly," described Dr. Dan Marsalek. 

An ice jam forced the river to rise so fast that boats are swept up in the flood of water at the Cleveland Yacht Club.

Dr. Dan Marsalek and his wife Jan were well prepared. Their important documents and prized possessions placed high up inside their home.

"The mouth broke open and this was clear up over into the yards. The water was into the yards, and it came up and up and up until all of a sudden it went, womp!" added Marsalek's wife, Jan.

Two days later there's a sense of calm.

"Our emotions went up and down with the river. It's kind of strange to be placid at this point."

Only a few short steps away from the Marsalek's home, the Lakewood Fire Department is still keeping a close eye on the river's movements.

Everything is melting, but what some people are still worried about are massive chunks of ice that still remain, and could potentially refreeze over as cooler, more frigid temperatures move in again this week.

"It's always possible. It's not a great concern at this point - everything is breaking free. So, it would take a long time for it to freeze back to that level," says Captain David Harp of the Lakewood Fire Department.

The Marsalek's are confident the worst is over, and they'll now begin to put everything inside their house back where it belongs.

"We dodged a big bullet," says Jan Marsalek with a smile.  

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