KESHENA, WI –

     Along the wolf river, Brian Kelley is preparing for the worst. Protecting his bait and tackle shop from potential flood waters.

     “I’m pretty nervous,” he says. “If that does go over the road and shuts the road down, I mean potentially I have to close my business.”

An ice jam 3/4 of a mile downstream is impacting about a dozen businesses and homes, threatening to flood highway 47 and highway 55.

     “To have this road shut down, it’s a scary thought,” says Kelley.

But help is on the way, as tribal leaders announced a plan on Thursday to break up the ice. They say the plan does not include explosives. “We’re going to use a mechanical means of going out there and breaking that up,” says Menominee Tribal Emergency Management Director Ben Warrington.

     “What our hope is, is that we’re able to expose the water, and then that will begin some type of a warming action over the next few days.”

Tribal leaders say removing the jam before the warm weather hits, should clear up the channel.

     “We’re hoping that by the time that hits that the water will have dropped down a lot lower in this area,” says Environmental Services Director Jeremy Pyatskowit. But residents remain cautious, knowing warm weather could make the problem worse.

     “I don’t know if the warmer weather is going to be really a good thing for us, or if it’s going to backlash on us,” says Kelley. “It’s hard enough around here as it is, you know?”

Tribal leaders would not disclose the location of the ice jam they plan to work on, saying it is one of three impacting the flow of the river. They say the work will be contracted out to an outside party.