Montpelier officials watch ice jam

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City officials in Montpelier are keeping an eye on the Winooski River, where an ice jam west of downtown is raising water levels and fears of flooding.

City Manager Bill Fraser says the river was running at 9.4 feet, about 2 feet higher than normal and about 1.5 feet below the level at which downtown basements start to flood. The official flood stage on the river is 15 feet.

Fraser said after rising in recent days, the water level appeared to be holding steady, indicating that some was getting through and passing downstream. An ice jam in 1992 flooded the downtown of the nation’s smallest state capital, population about 8,000.

Temperatures for Wednesday and Christmas were forecast to rise above freezing, raising hopes the jam would thaw.

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