Evacuation Order Lifted But Meeker Residents Keep An Eye On White River

An evacuation order for about a dozen homes on the east side of meeker was lifted mid Thursday morning by law enforcement officials.
But with a high temperature of about 14 degrees Thursday residents aren't necessarily in the clear, and could still see some slight flooding.

The ice that formed over Meeker's White River is called Frazile ice. It's made up of little crystals that form on both the surface of the water and on the rocks on the bottom of the river. There are two ways this ice can form. One if there's a steep slope that suddenly hits a gentle plain, and if temperatures drop dramatically. According to Hydrologist Brian Avery with the National Weather Service the conditions in Meeker were perfect for this ice to form.

Avery says for the most part Meeker had been experiencing normal low temperatures in the upper teens and on the 12th of January the low got all the way up to 33. But when the cold air moved in on Wednesday the temperature dropped to 30 below.

The slushy frazile ice is thicker than in years past and has caused thick ice dams to form along the river. Avery says typically these types of ice jams don't result in flash flooding. But if they do break it can mean trouble. Avery says it can be dangerous not only because it can flood over the bank but it can there's potential of hypothermia for people who come in contact with the water.

With warmer temperatures not in the forecast anytime soon it looks like the white river will remain just that.

Meeker town officials say they will continue to monitor the White River and keep residents informed of any changes in which they would need to evacuate.


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