Ice jam dangers rise on Muskegon River

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 11:25:35-05

NEWAYGO, Mich. - An ice jam on the Muskegon River has grown and the weather isn't cooperating, putting about 100 homes at risk.

Newaygo County Emergency Management officials say that extremely cold temperatures Wednesday and Thursday, followed by temperatures in the 30s and 40s this weekend, could cause flooding.

Officials say there are now 17 miles of jumbled up ice clogging the Muskegon River both upstream and downstream from the Warner Bridge and the Bridgeton Township Boat Launch to the City of Newaygo.  River levels at Bridgeton are just below flood stage as of Wednesday afternoon, while river levels in Newaygo have risen two feet in the last 12 hours.

The river is expect to continue to freeze up until Saturday when temperatures climb into the 30s. Temperatures are expected to go above 40 later in the weekend and into next week, with rain likely.  Officials are working with the National Weather Service and River Forecast Center to assess the risks.

Those living near the Muskegon River in the Newaygo and Bridgeton areas should keep aware of river levels and be prepared to move to higher ground if needed. River levels could fluctuate rapidly and could go higher than any forecasts.