Authorities consider options for clearing ice jams causing Highway 275 flooding, closure

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WEST POINT, Neb. (WOWT) -- A stretch of Highway 275 between West Point and Highway 91 closed Friday morning as ice jams pushed Elkhorn River waters over the roadway.

Dodge County Emergency Management is working with the local Natural Resource Districts and the National Weather Service to determine whether to blast the ice jam apart or allow Mother Nature to take its course.

“Essentially what happened is all the ice between West Point and Scribner it came down it jammed up at one of the curves as the Elkhorn comes in," said Thomas Smith, Emergency Management Director, Dodge County. “Throughout the week it’s moved closer and closer to the Cumming County line.”

With low-lying farmland and Highway 275 feeling the brunt of the floodwaters, officials said they expect to make a decision on how to manage the jam in the next couple of days.

Options include blasting the ice apart to get it moving downstream, but that comes with a risk.

“You can’t break up ice in one county and let go down and flood another county," said Smith. Ideally, he said, warmer temperatures would move in and help dislodge the jam.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said they are expecting one of the biggest spring runoff seasons on record, due to the unusually wet ground throughout the Missouri River Basin. . Still, the amount of runoff expected, is about half the amount seen last spring.

Officials also note the next several weeks leading into spring are still a factor. The hope being drier weather prevails throughout the Missouri River Basin, which spans across nine Midwestern states.

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