PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The warmer temperatures are creating flooding fears in several local communities.

The park bench in Manorville, Armstrong County says: “If you’re lucky enough to live along the river, you’re lucky enough.”

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But these days, anybody who lives near the water has to be concerned about ice that is now six to 12 inches thick in a weather pattern that’s a lot warmer than it was last week, and rain is on the way.

River ice beginning at Freeport extends miles northward.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, what’s happening this season is making local history.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked to many folks at the weather service, the lock masters and navigation industry, and the general consensus is this is the worst since 1977 in an overall river ice condition,” says Werner Loehlein, of the Army Corps based in Pittsburgh.

But in the short term, streams and creeks will likely be the first concern.

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The rivers could be at issue the closer we get to a long-term thaw.

So, emergency planners are taking no chances.

“They’re already engaged here, already doing that; so yeah, we’re just watching,” says Loehlein. “We suggest that people that are in low-lying areas, that they too pay attention because as you can see here the river ice isn’t in our local pools, but there’s still a lot of snow and ice upstream of us and it’s going to come past us.”

“We’re watching the weather forecast, monitoring the snow pack and the river ice conditions and being prepared from an emergency standpoint doing a worst case scenario kind of preparedness,” says Loehlein.

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More Reports by Harold Hayes

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