Ice jam in Ithaca causes concern, residents prepared for the worst

A race against time in Ithaca Saturday, as crews worked around the clock to break up a major ice jam that had formed on the Cascadilla Creek near the Madison Avenue Bridge. As ice builds up under the bridge, the water overflows its banks, leaving nearby residents scrambling to protect their homes with sandbags.

"As the thaw happens, the ice breaks free and flows down the creek and jams up the dams under the bridges and the creek can't flow,â?? said Ithaca resident William Epthimiatos. â??Where is the water going to go?"

The roads around Cascadilla Creek were shut down Saturday afternoon, and heavy equipment was brought in to try and break up the ice jam. Longtime residents say that while itâ??s not unusual for Cascadilla Creek to freeze, a major ice jam like this one was something they were not expecting.

Christina Sweet says, â??Iâ??ve never seen ice like this so thick. It used to freeze up when we were little kids but never this bad."

The Ithaca Fire Department says sandbags and sump pumps helped minimize flood damage, but people near the creek are keeping a close eye out for rising water.