Ice jams raising concern along the Missouri River - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Ice jams raising concern along the Missouri River


With the cold weather this week more people are getting concerned about a big ice jam on the Missouri River. And one couple just across the border in South Dakota is keeping their eyes peeled for changes in the water level.

Bob and Dee Phillips started building their dream home on the banks of the Missouri river near Jefferson, South Dakota in 1979.

However, because of winter flooding back then the road leading to their home was drowning in water and the couple had to postpone the date when their home would be completed.

"Because the water that flood across the roads that had froze when the water was about 4 feet deep," said Bob Phillips. "So we had about 4 feet of ice so we couldn't drive across it."

Once spring arrived, the ice melted and the couple was able to finish building and moved in to their new home.

However, 35 years later, it's almost déjà vu.

"Because of the ice coming down from Ponca, it's sort of damming it up and it's raising," said Bob.

"We're definitely trying to keep an eye on what's going on," said Kevin Stamm from The Army Corps of Engineers. "There are obviously concerns that something could occur, but at this point the situation looks relatively stable."

If it were to flood, the Phillips family isn't worried about their home because it's up high enough. However, they would be worried about how to get to and from their home.

"If there was an ice dam up river, it would make the water flow into the low ground and so we would be cut off because we have to drive across low ground to get out of here," said Bob Phillips.

Just in case, Bob & Dee are prepared.

"We have a little boat sitting out there" said Bob Phillips. "We get in that little boat and we would go back-and-forth."

However, Army Corps officials say it might not even come to that. Kevin Stamm says the river levels are well below action stage.

"An action stage is not a flood stage, but it would require additional monitoring," said Stamm. "So we are a number of feet below that."

With the warmer weather coming up, Stamm says we shouldn't see any significant flooding with the Missouri River.

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