Ice floes forming on Missouri River

Published: Dec. 13, 2019 at 5:21 PM CST
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Cold weather is here to stay, and concerns of ice floes forming are on the horizon.

The Missouri River is starting to freeze over which means that ice floes are forming.

Temperatures are currently well below freezing, which is causing sheets of ice to form along the river.

A prolonged period of thawing followed by a refreeze could cause ice floes to break apart, creating ice jams.

"Long term patterns are calling for temperatures that are slightly above normal. So, they'd be just above or around that freezing mark. So generally speaking, we will consider seeing that ice continue to develop," said Meteorologist Curt Olson.

As ice floes and the potential for ice jams becomes a reality, so does the risk of flooding.

"It can cause a backup of water in the river if there is sufficient ice to create friction that acts like a dam. Water has to rise to overcome that friction," said Roger Smith, Ducks Unlimited director of engineering services.

Residents near the river should be prepared.

"If you have property in a low lying area and you expect inundation, then you would have those things that might get damaged out of that area," Smith said.

There's no cause for concern yet, but ice floes could create an issue in the coming weeks as temperatures warm up.

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