Ice jams cause significant flooding along St. Clair River

National Weather issues flood warning in St. Clair County until 10 a.m. Thursday

Ice jams cause flooding along St. Clair River
Ice jams cause flooding along St. Clair River

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Mich. – Ice jams along the St. Clair River caused significant flooding in Algonac to Port Huron Tuesday and Wednesday.

Read: Weather Alerts

The scene is not uncommon. Pieces of ice collect and dam off the river, causing it to back up. What was uncommon was the typical help used to prevent the St. Clair River from spilling over wasn’t available, causing damage all along the river.

READ: Homes impacted by flooding along St. Clair River

Pumps were turned on Wednesday and by noon, the water receded at least a foot.

Two ice breaking ships -- U.S. Coast Guard’s Bristol Bay and Canadian cutter The Griffon -- have been conducting operations to ease the flooding.

Algonac resident Jody Elrod said the last comparable flood was in 1986, but 2021′s flooding was significantly worse.

Neighbor Kim Baxter went looking for the Coast Guard workers on the ice.

“We haven’t seen any activity all day. Last night, they came by about 6:30 p.m. as we were eating dinner,” Baxter said. “Have not seen them up and down the river, normally you’d have two or three working.”

Mike Baxter had to rush to put sandbags up when he saw the floodwater.

“Yesterday, I guess about 2:30 p.m., I was out in the yard and I could see the water coming over the walls here,” said Mike Baxter.

A representative with the Coast Guard said Bristol Bay was helping an ice-bound tugboat when its engine overheated.

An estimated 100 homes in East China were hit particularly hard. Residents are deeply concerned about the snowy weather expected Thursday.

READ: Metro Detroit weather: Winter kicks into high gear next few days


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.