Ice buildup on Ten Mile Creek causes flooding concerns

February 7, 2014
Along the banks of Ten Mile Creek in Pitt Gas Friday morning, there was no sign of water. Instead, large ice jams created the illusion of rugged terrain. - Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

A recent warm-up, followed by freezing temperatures, created an ice buildup unseen in two decades along Ten Mile Creek at the Washington-Greene County line.

The ice boulders stretch for nearly one-half mile between Clarksville and Millsboro and will pose a flooding risk if temperatures quickly rise into the 50s and rain arrives, East Bethlehem fire Chief Jim Starkey said.

“Ice jams are unpredictable,” added Fred McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.

He said the frozen streams in the region will be “status quo” for a while, because below-freezing temperatures are predicted to remain in place into next week.

He said ice on Ten Mile broke up and began to jam during the thaw last Tuesday and Wednesday, and then it quickly froze again, giving it a rocky texture.

The ice could become a problem if it forms a dam, McMullen said.

Starkey said Ten Mile Creek in the area took on a similar appearance in the mid-1990s and forced water onto Main Street in the township.

“What would really be bad is if we get a lot of rain,” Starkey said Friday, when the creek’s condition drew many sightseers to the area.

The forecast, McMullen said, calls for about an inch of snow on Saturday and another inch Sunday. The extended forecast shows temperatures rising above freezing Wednesday and Thursday.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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