Lakewood fire: Steer clear of Rocky River as ice jams move and melt

ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - If you were out at the Rocky River Marina this week you would not think there was a threat of flooding.

The Rocky River, not far from the mouth at Lake Erie, appears to be going through a gentle thaw.

But if you drive a few miles or so away into the Rocky River Reservation of the Metroparks you would see something completely different.

The river there, and in several other spots, is clogged with ice jams and that certainly could lead to flooding as the jams break.

Chief Scott Gilman of the Lakewood Fire Department says no one for any reason should be on the river right now.

"I've seen families out on the ice when they thought it was fun to take the kids out, very unsafe," said Gilman.

As ice chunks flow down river they create tremendous pressure on the jams, which eventually -- because of the force of water and ice -- break up and head down river.

If you are caught out there, it can, according to Chief Gilman, be a big problem, "The river just builds up pressure and the jam will break and move and you'll be gone."

It is a powerful scene and one we witnessed in the Rocky River reservation.

Rocky River police have sent out a warning and advised residents that live in flood prone areas to be ready to evacuate.

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