Water recedes as Fish Creek ice jam breaks up

Sylvan Beach Ice Jam

As the Fish Creek ice jam continued to grow, water levels rose upstream near Waterview Drive at Sylvan Beach on Thursday afternoon. As levels rose, crews worked to ensure the safety of the neighborhood.

Water rescue teams from Oriskany and Taberg were on the scene, performing voluntary evacuations for people who did not feel safe with water levels rising three and four feet, flooding yards and homes in the areas. A shelter was set up at North Bay Fire Department for the people displaced by the flooding, as there were about 30 evacuations on the day.

Roger Loomis, a Sylvan Beach resident, received a call from his mother-in-law who lives in the region in the afternoon. She told him the water was coming up pretty quickly.

"The water was just flyin' down the creeks," Loomis says. "The water was the highest it's ever been. She's been there 15 years, that's the highest it's ever been."

As the crews worked to keep people safe, they realized they were working with people who have lived in the area for awhile, and have gone through similar floods before.

"Most people understand the threat lived here long enough to know this isn't anything to mess around with," Rick Johnson of the Sylvan Beach Fire Department says.

Just before 5 o'clock the ice jam began to break up, as evidenced by a fast flowing fish creek back into Oneida Lake. Because of the break up, the water receded from the neighborhood near Waterview drive, relieving some of the homes that were close to getting flooded.