PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Huge chunks of ice that created navigation problems on the Allegheny River have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Flood Watch.
Now through Tuesday, the Weather Service is keeping a close watch on ice jams in New Kensington and nearby areas.
“The warmer temperatures, and the rain we’re expecting, and the runoff will help push that ice downstream,” says Rich Kane, of the National Weather Service. “What happens is the ice builds up and if the water in the rivers can’t find a way underneath of it, it’s going to start flooding.”
There are already some concerns that more ice jams could form as a result of rain in the weekend forecast.
“The warmer temperatures, the runoff we expect to have, all contributing to a potential for ice jams,” said Kane. “In fact, we’ve already got one going on in Oil City, Venango County, right now. We have a warning out for that.”
Because the Allegheny can be a winding river, there’s also a chance that ice jams could form below New Kensington, but none of the anticipated flooding is expected to make it to Pittsburgh.
“The highest area that looks like it could be affected is from Parker down through about C.W. Bill Young Dam down in the Natrona Heights-New Kensington area,” Kane added.