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LEECHBURG (KDKA) — Armstrong County 911 reported late Thursday night that about 65 people were evacuated from the Leechburg area because of flooding problems.

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The concern focuses on the massive ice jam on the Kiski River.

Like the weather itself, ice jams are unpredictable and no one can say specifically when or how they’ll break up – in huge chunks or in small pieces – and causing more more flooding problems downstream.

With milder weather in the forecast over the next few days and rain predicted, people are apprehensive.

“Right now, the ground is frozen, it’s solid. Any rain now will go straight into the river,” said Michael Fries, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Pittsburgh.

KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:

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Homeowners who live near the banks of the Allegheny and Kiski Rivers are taking steps to avoid flood damage in the event the water keeps rising.

“I came downstairs today, and started moving everything upstairs, all my sentimental stuff,” resident Michelle Conway said. “I got most of it, but I’m still not done yet.”

Bill Orris, of Gilpin Township, said “We’re trying to get all of our important stuff upstairs. If we have to get out, we’ve got to get out.”

Meghan Schiller Reports: 

Back at the National Weather Service in Moon Township, Fries said, “We worry about times when you get a lot of rain and the river levels start to come up. When it’s in concert with the ice, you can get more ice breaking up at once. When you get into places like Hyde Park Borough, where there’s a bend in the river, and it builds up there and causes the ice to jam up.”

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The House of Hope Church in Parks Township is opening its doors to the evacuees.