City Hall, Keene, NH

Emergency Management

Ice Jams and Flooding - Information Guide for Protecting Your Property

Recent runoff related to melting snow and rain has caused the Ashuelot and Branch Rivers in Keene to rise.  Both rivers had ice due to the long stretch of cold weather that began before December 25, 2017.  Currently the Branch River in the Lower Main Street area where it converges with the Ashuelot River near Martel Court seems to be allowing the flows to pass.  The buildup of ice is in the Ashuelot River south of Martel Court.  This ice buildup has created some flow restrictions which the Army Corp is aware of and considering within the context of their flood management efforts. 

City emergency management personnel continue to monitor conditions and maintain communication with the NH Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management along with the local Army Corps staff who are monitoring the water levels of both Rivers.  The Army Corp is following flood management protocols in working to discharge as much water as possible from Surry Mtn. Dam and Otter Brook Dam with the goal of keeping the water levels within the banks.

People living in low-lying areas or flood-prone areas should be aware of ever-changing weather conditions as well as the fact that both rivers are already at high levels.  Further warming, snow melt and forecasted rain are being monitored by all agencies.  There is no estimated time when the ice will clear the affected areas in the rivers.

The public is encouraged to follow the City’s website (, Facebook and Twitter (@notifyKeene) for local emergency reports.  The NH Department of Safety website ( is also a recommended resource for information and emergency alerts which are available for your specific community.

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