Portland ice jam flooding: now and then, piles of ice push flooding

Portland ice jam 1939.
This photo shows an ice jam that occurred in Portland, Michigan in 1939. (WWMT/Portland, Michigan, Community History)

Portland, Michigan, is no stranger to ice jams - and the danger that comes with them. Just not in the past 50 years.

For most of February 2019, the city has been at the mercy of ice jams along the Grand River, particularly a large one near a downtown bridge. The ice on the river surface broke up Feb. 8, 2019, causing severe flooding. The river overflows because the ice jam blocks the flow of water. Significant temperature swings throughout the month kept the threat of additional flooding just an ice melt away.

The last time the Grand River jammed up to the point of several flooding was in 1951. The event was documented in photos shared with Newschannel 3 by the city of Portland.

So, take a step back in time through the photographs of the flooding history in Portland, Michigan.

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