Fox28 reports that as waters rose across the Corridor Monday, Benton County emergency manager Scott Hansen had his sights set on a potential problem four miles north.
“It’s quite a bit of ice and the chunks are very large,” Hansen says, “so we want to be aware of that for when it does break loose.”
A giant ice jam was spotted upriver from Vinton; Hansen needed to keep track of as it moved toward town.
“The Weather Service, in conjunction with the river forecast center, they like to know about ice jams on mainstem rivers because it can have an effect on the flow and the height during, especially during floods,” Hansen says. “They wanted to get a good handle on where it was and what it may or may not be doing.”
The only problem: he couldn’t really get eyes on it.
“It was in an area where you can’t really drive to. It’s all river bottom, flood plain in that area, there aren’t any roads that go to the river edge,” he explains.
However, Hansen has a local standby they call in for situations just like this.
“I’ve got a lot of hours on it,” says Mike Madorin. He’s the resident flight expert and drone owner who has spent the last couple years flying for fun and to help out the city.
Madorin captured the entire view of the jam on his drone.
“This one between Mt. Auburn and Vinton was approximately two-and-a-half miles,” he says of the massive sheet of ice.
He posted the video on his Facebook page and managed to spread the word online, hoping to warn people downriver of what may be coming. Continue reading about how a drone tracks giant ice jam.