North Country ice jam could threaten more homes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

North Country ice jam could threaten more homes

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MALONE, N.Y. -

Jerry Lamica watches as the Salmon River gets closer to his home on Lower Park Street in Malone.

"It's getting me to wonder when I'm moving out," Lamica said.

Some of his neighbors had to move out a week ago due to the flooding.

"It's rough leaving your home," said Robbie Benware, who had to leave his home.

Last week's extremely cold temperatures created a 4,000-foot ice jam on the river. That caused four feet of water to cover the road. All together, 10 homes have been evacuated. Most of them have several feet of water on the first floor.

"We have the river going up a little, but still jammed in pretty tight," said Rick Provost of Franklin County Emergency Services.

Temperatures in Malone reached 60 Wednesday and rain fell. Emergency officials say it is a wait and see game on how the weather will impact the situation. Right now, they are optimistic.

"The water was flowing down Park Street approximately 1,000 feet yesterday and today it's flowing only about 600 feet and it's flowing back into the river," Provost said.

Another major concern-- the temperature is expected to drop below freezing Thursday.

"Our hope is it cuts a channel and it doesn't back up any more," Provost said. "We're going to monitor it and be ready to make a move if we need to and evacuate residents."

If the cold temperatures cause the jam to back up again, that will likely mean Jerry Lamica will have to leave.

"It's wait and see," he said.

Ronnie Benware is optimistic the water will return to the Salmon River in the coming days, but says it will be a while before his family can return home, along with the four elderly adults he cares for.

"I'm hoping in the next week and a half, and the river re-channels itself, then we can remove the ice and snow and do repairs and get back into the home," Benware said.

Homeowners whose fate is decided by Mother Nature.

Emergency officials expect the floodwaters to crest Thursday morning.

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