Creek Waters Rise In Silver Creek; Evacuations Possible

SILVER CREEK — The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Thursday morning due to ice jams in Walnut and Silver Creeks along Route 20.

The NWS said to expect rapid rises and falls in water levels along both creeks as the ice jams work their way downstream through Silver Creek village toward Lake Erie.

Hanover’s Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo said the Silver Creek fire department, along with county and state emergency teams, were planning on using a large excavator near the fire hall, the site of the most concentrated ice buildup.

The excavator arrived Thursday evening from Rochester and is expected to be used today.

“It’s got a 100-foot boom, so it can reach out farther,” said D’Angelo. “The machinery we’re using now has only a 40-foot reach.”

D’Angelo said the excavators are being used, in part, to break up the ice jams so the creek can send the debris out into the lake. They’re also being used to dig out channels.

“The county dug a channel down by the fire house,” D’Angelo said.

The past week saw a rapid rise in temperatures after a considerable cold period turned the top creek layers to ice. The sudden thawing “makes the water come up over the banks” because the ice jams “create a big dam,” explained D’Angelo.

The real concern now is how the ice jams will affect Hanford Bay and Sunset Bay.

“Once we get done with Silver Creek, usually about 12 hours later, it’s Hanford and Sunset Bay,” said D’Angelo. “Up towards Perrysburg, that’s where the ice is by the bridge in Versailles. It’s broke up but not moving. It will come down to Hanford Bay and Sunset Bay.”

If this happens, causing more ice jams, D’Angelo said to expect the water to wash over the streets. Residents in Hanford and Sunset will be evacuated prior to such an occurrence, D’Angelo said.

“Rain will be the big push (for the ice)”, said D’Angelo. “It depends on how much rain we get.”