ARMSTRONG COUNTY (KDKA) – The Allegheny River near Parker in Armstrong County has turned into a tourist attraction.
Hundreds of people have shown up, amazed by the sight of thousands of large chunks of ice that have turned the river into a giant stagnant frozen pond.
“There’s people that have never seen this in their lifetime in Parker, so they came down here to check it out,” said resident Lee Dillon.
“I just don’t want to see this,” added resident Ellie Eyler. “I’ve never seen it like this here though.”
Warmer temperatures melted some of the ice causing minor flooding along Route 268. It’s the third ice jam on the river this winter, but this one may be here a little longer.
“We’d have it,” said Mayor Bill McCall, “it would warm up and go. Now it’s not going to go. It’s going to get cold again.”
“The power of the river and the ice, it could come in and wipe everything off, all the buildings out, all that stuff,” he added.
Across the river, two luxury homes near the shore are now surrounded by ice chunks and water – a pickup truck is also buried. A resident was rescued Sunday morning by firefighters.
“They couldn’t get the whole way over, so the firemen had to get out and wade the way over to him, because there was too much ice,” said resident Brenda Polatty. “They had to get in the water and walk over to him.”
Only about a dozen or so people live in apartments along that stretch of Route 268 in Parker. Meanwhile, all the businesses are closed and everyone is waiting and watching to see what happens with the river.
“Eventually you’d like to have a slow warm up,” said resident Eric Venson, “a little bit of water to slowly keep breaking the ice up so it does go down, but not all at one time.”
The only problem is the colder it gets means more ice is going to be made up north, which means more ice is going to come down and be more of a problem.