Officials keep close eye on rivers and ice as temperatures drop again

In this recent picture of the bridge over the Beaverhead River in Twin Bridges, the water is flowing fine. However, bitterly cold temperatures on Tuesday night had officials monitoring the flow closely in case of another ice jam.   Photo by Steve DiGiovanna

In this recent picture of the bridge over the Beaverhead River in Twin Bridges, the water is flowing fine. However, bitterly cold temperatures on Tuesday night had officials monitoring the flow closely in case of another ice jam. Photo by Steve DiGiovanna

As temperatures plummeted again on Monday and Tuesday evenings, residents of Ennis and Twin Bridges began keeping a close eye on the rivers flowing through town.

In Ennis, the Madison River gorged again sometime Sunday night and on Tuesday morning only a small channel of water was moving, though it resembled a river of slush rather than water.

In Twin Bridges, the Beaverhead River was slushy but moving on Tuesday, said Chris Mumme, director of Madison County Emergency Management.

“We’re in a monitoring mode right now,” Mumme said.

In Twin Bridges, about 10,000 sand bags are filled and staged in case the river tops the levy like it did a couple weeks ago, he said.

In Ennis, sand bags are also ready and officials are also monitoring the ice level closely. If flooding begins in Ennis, the town’s air siren will sound. Residents can tune in to 1610 a.m. for the latest information.

In both communities incident command teams have been organized and are ready should the situation warrant it, Mumme said.

The good news is that once the below zero temperatures pass on Tuesday night, temperatures should warm through the rest of the week.

For more information look online at www.madison.homestead.com

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