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Ice jam pushes up into Ohio cemetery, toppling headstones

March 17, 2015

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Huge chunks of ice that broke up along a northern Ohio river pushed into a low-lying cemetery and toppled Civil War-era headstones while damaging fences, trees and a roadway at two parks.

The piles of ice bulldozed park benches and signs and forced the evacuation of about 20 horses from a stable along the Maumee River near Toledo.

Higher temperatures created ice jams over the weekend that pushed ice boulders, some the size of small cars, over the river banks.

Some parts of Riverside Cemetery were covered with pieces of ice stacked at least 4 feet (1 meter) high. About 90 percent of the headstones, some dating to the mid-1800s, were knocked over, said Joe Camp, the city of Maumee’s public service director.

The ice also pushed through and damaged the metal fence around the cemetery.

“Devastation, in a word,” Camp said.

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