Gallatin Gateway Residents Dealing With Second Ice Jam - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Gallatin Gateway Residents Dealing With Second Ice Jam

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GALLATIN GATEWAY, Mont. -

An ice jam in the Gallatin River is causing flooding near Gallatin Gateway, closing one road Wednesday.

This is the second ice jam in about a month in the area.  An ice jam forms when rivers are blocked by ice from extended periods below zero, like we saw in early December. Since water cannot pass, it backs up behind the jam causing flooding.

People in Gallatin Gateway aren't used to seeing the river jam like that.

"This morning our neighbor knocked on our door at seven and said you got water around your shop again," said Lauri Olsen.  "I came out and the water has come up quite a bit since last night."

Olsen's home was evacuated in early December after her home was threatened from rising waters because of an ice jam.

She says she hasn't seen an ice jam in the river since she moved along the river in 1991.

Now she has seen two, and doesn't care to see another one.

"It is nerve racking to watch and not know what is going to happen," said Olsen.  "It is pretty close to my house. If it comes over the banks, then it is right in my yard. We do have water in our crawl space."

Olsen said she just put the pumps away after pumping water from her crawl space from the December ice jam.

Dick Shockley has lived across the street since 1975, and he's only seen flooding in the spring.

"We did have a spring flood that was rather dramatic, but it was for different reasons and it took on a whole different dynamic," said Shockley.

The National Weather Service said Montana has the most ice jams than any other in the lower 48, but most of them happen in February or March.

While Shockley and Olsen hope it doesn't happen again, Olsen is getting ready for rising waters.

"I'm not going to cross my fingers," said Olsen. "We were cautiously optimistic when everything started breaking up and you could see the water flow."

Axtel - Gateway Road is closed between Gateway South Road and Deer Spring Lane until the water recedes. So far officials said there are no evacuations.

Gallatin County Emergency Management officials said you should use sand bags or straw bales to divert the water from your property.

You can get sand bags from Bozeman Brick on Jackrabbit Lane and straw bales from a number of locations.

More information is available here.

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