CRREL Ice Jam Database
KATHLEEN D. WHITE AND HEIDI J. EAMES
This report provides an overview of the CRREL
Ice Jam Database and provides examples of the
Rivers in the northern United States may be
application of information contained in the data-
affected by the formation of ice jams. Costly dam-
base. It should be of interest to all Corps of Engi-
age to riverine communities is a direct result of
neers elements, major subordinate commands,
these ice jams, which often leave little time for
districts, laboratories, and field operating activi-
engineers and state officials to prepare for flood-
ties located in the freezing zone or having civil
ing and evacuate the communities or structures
works responsibilities concerning ice. In addition,
to be affected by rapidly rising waters. Although
this information is intended to be helpful to hydro-
no specific damage figures are available, it is esti-
logic and hydraulic engineering specialists and
mated that ice jams cause over 0 million in
emergency operations personnel, as well as state
damages annually in the United States (Fig. 1).
and local officials who are responsible for respond-
Roads may be flooded and closed to traffic, or
ing to ice jam emergencies.
bridges weakened or destroyed, limiting emer-
a. Along the Saranac River, New York, January 1996.
b. Along the St. John River, Maine, April 1991. The
bridge piers visible in the river mark the location of the
bridge destroyed during ice jam.
Figure 1. Examples of ice jam damage.