Ice jam pushes up into Ohio cemetery, toppling headstones
Mar. 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 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.
A park official surveying the damage at a recreation area just south of Toledo said it could be more than a week before some areas reopen because so much ice is blocking access to the park.
Fences, gates and informational kiosks were either damaged or destroyed, said Jeff Baney, assistant director for the Wood County Park District.
Several roads along the river were blocked by the ice over the weekend and remained closed Tuesday.
Ice falling from a bridge in downtown Toledo snapped the cables tying down a 600-foot freighter, causing it to break free Sunday. The rear of the ship struck the bottom of the Maumee River, but nothing spilled into the water, police said.