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Flooding, ice concerns lead to state of emergency in Kent

Posted: Updated:
KENT -

Concerns over a massive ice jam in Kent have forced officials to declare a state of emergency there.

The mile-long ice jam along the Housatonic River caused flooding, road closures and home evacuations over the weekend.

In addition to a state of emergency announced Monday, officials said they evacuated all 580 students from the private Kent School.

Officials say they don't know when and how quickly the ice jam will break and what it will continue to do to low-lying areas along the river in terms of flooding. There are also concerns for the towns south of Kent, like Gaylordsville and New Milford, when the jam does break, as it will release a large volume of water.

For now, town officials say residents are safe. They also say students are safe, but they want to take every precaution possible and that they should be able to return to Kent School by Monday.

Officials warn residents to stay off the Houstonic River and heed all road closures. They hope this weekend's warmer weather will help break up some of the ice and move it slowly down river.

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