Kent officials prepared for ice jam refreeze

The Housatonic River in Kent on January 23. (Photo: Noelle Gardner/WTNH)
KENT, Conn. (WTNH) – Wednesday marked day 11 of a state of emergency in Kent as a one mile long ice jam threatens the town with potential flood waters.
Route 7 was forced to shut down overnight as water from the Housatonic River flooded over its banks. Representative Brian Ohler says the incident command team is prepared for every situation.
“There is about eight to 10 inches of water over the road,” Ohler told News 8. “Fortunately, this is down from four feet a week ago.” 
 
The Kent School remains surrounded by water as pumps dry out the flooded basement of the school’s science building. 
“They allocated about 100 sandbags that they’re going to be reinforcing their basement doors with,” Ohler said.
After nearly 600 students were evacuated from the Kent school a week and a half ago, Thursday they’ll be headed back to class.
Bruce Kraus drove with his wife from Manhattan to take in the spectacular, yet daunting view.
“This isn’t supposed to be happening here,” Kraus said of the sight. “I’m not sure whether to be horrified or awed by the beauty – I’m on the fence about that, but I am impressed.”
 
Best friends Darli and Judith say the town is taking appropriate precautions while informing neighbors daily of the ice jam’s uncertainty. 
 
“When ice melts it’s going to be a disaster,” Darli Ebling said.
“I have lived in Connecticut all of my life and I don’t remember anything like this, ever,” Judith Freedman added.
With winter still looming, the incident command team knows the ice jam is going to refreeze, it’s just a matter of when.
“It looks like we’re going to be stuck with ice jam for at least another month,” Ohler said.

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