a photoblog of God's handiwork.

Of Ice and Men

A couple weeks ago we experienced an odd chain of weather events that led to ice jams and flooding along the Musselshell River here in eastern Montana. On the morning of March 8, the ice flows came through our area and I followed the head of the high water taking both still and video footage of the event. Below are a few of the images I took, along with some video clips of the flowing ice in the riverbed.

My first vantage point allowed me to present a before and after comparison that gives an idea of how big the initial surge impacted the river.
Ice Flow Before and After

I shot this video from the same position as the ice flow fully filled the river.

Next, I moved a couple miles down river. The river level rose under the sheet of ice covering the stream until it raised enough to flow over an irrigation diversion, which caused the ice to breaks as it flowed over. A number of beavers had been wintering in the river at this spot, and were violently upset from the churning action of the ice in the river. Below is a beaver scampering for safety on the flowing ice.

This video was taken from the same location, showing the ice sheets breaking as they cross the diversion dam.

There were numerous places where ice jams formed, causing the river to find alternative courses and flooding a lot of farmland in the process. Below you can see the ice jam in the river at the bottom of the frame, with the flooded fields beyond where the water found a less restricted path.

The next video was taken at the moment when an ice jam finally broke loose after several hours.

“The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.” Psalms 93:3-4


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