A third ice flow has jammed up the Kicking Horse River near the municipal campground, flooding the riverbanks and street.
Ice that flowed down the river late last week collected at the dike near the Golden Municipal Campground, which is one of the more porous sections, explained town CAO Jon Wilsgard.
Excavators were on site early Friday morning to begin chipping away at the chunks of ice, and pumps were used to move the water downstream, where the ice flow has already carved out a path for water to lead into the Columbia River.
The end of 9th Street S. was closed off to traffic, and parking and buses for the Golden Secondary School were moved to the arena.
“We’ve already had two ice flows this winter,” explained Wilsgard. “The third ice flow, which came down the river a couple of days ago, has lodged, and it is composed of blocky ice and woody debris.”
It was hard for crews to tell how much water or ice was flowing past the point by the campground last week, but they were going to continue monitoring the situation, excavating, and pumping to help the water find its way through. Wilsgard hoped warmer temperatures would help the water pass through the blockage.
“What it does is it warms up a bit and the water can chew through the ice,” he said. “It’s nowhere near the top of the dike, it’s just seeping through it.”
Although ice is blocking the water from flowing upstream of downtown, the situation does not pose a threat to the river west of there, and should not affect downtown businesses or bridges, Wilsgard assured.
The street was still closed on Monday, and it could take a while longer before the water and ice has moved downstream and the street is cleared before it reopens.
It is not uncommon for ice to jam up in Golden during a cold winter. Earlier this winter, excavators were working near the bridge to remove ice and prevent flooding downtown, and two years ago, Ice jams nearly reached the underside of the bridge, which could have proved devastating to the town.