Dramatic scene unfolded in St. Johnsbury as an ice jam on the Moose River broke

Two weeks ago a dramatic scene unfolded in St. Johnsbury as an ice jam on the Moose River broke, sending a huge amount of ice and water gushing downstream, under the Concord Avenue Bridge and into the confluence with the Passumpsic. The ice jam, though, wasn’t the only thing that broke and headed downstream on Feb. 24. St. Johnsbury officials believe the crush of ice also damaged a sewer main that runs under the Moose River near Concord Avenue. It is estimated the broken main potentially released up to a half-million gallons of untreated sewage into the Passumpsic River. St. Johnsbury Town Manager Chad Whitehead said the ice and access issues to the pipe in question prevent a complete assessment of the damage and potential leak. The town was required to report the sewage leak to the Vermont Watershed Management program within the Department of Environmental Conservation. The town estimated between 100,000 and 500,000 gallons leaked.

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