Kent Officials Prepare for Dealing With Ice Jam

Local and state officials met in Kent Wednesday night to figure out what the town will do to prevent any more damage caused by a massive, one mile-long, 12-feet thick, ice jam. 

Some people who have lived in Kent for decades said they have never seen anything quite like this. 

“It’s eerie, and it’s very quiet,” said Caitlin Lynch. “It’s just awesome.” 

It is awesome for people who see Kent’s ice jam as a once-in-a-lifetime event, but it’s a headache for the officials who have to deal with it. 

“We had sub-zero temperatures, and then we had three days of 60-degree weather and three inches of rain,” said State Representative Brian Ohler. “Those three variables combined swelled the river to the point where all the ice broke up.” 

Since Kent’s section of the Housatonic River has two sharp curves, plus a shallow depth of water, all of the ice landed in one spot. 

“It’s Mother Nature and you just don’t know what’s going to happen, or how fast it’s going to happen,” said Lynch. 

That’s Rep. Ohler’s main concern. 

His team wanted to prepare for what happens next, hoping a slight warmup will help the ice break into smaller chunks over a more gradual period of time. 

If too much caves in at once, it could bring big flooding problems downstream to New Milford. 

Meanwhile, The Kent School will remain closed because of its flood issues. Just upstream at The Kent Center School, the coast seems clear. 

“We’ve been fine all the way through,” said Kent Center School teacher Marty Lindenmayer. “There’s been no issue whatsoever with the rising water or the ice at all. The place is ready to go.” 

His classes will resume tomorrow. 

“If the forecast does change over the weekend and the ice jam does become loose or is compromised in any way, parents will be notified, students will be notified, if there’s any school changes for next week,” said Rep. Ohler.

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