United States

Coast Guard Continues Ice Breaking on Connecticut River

The US Coast Guard cut through roughly seven miles worth of ice in one week, and still has four more miles to go.

US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was aboard that mission Thursday afternoon to get a front row seat.

“There’s nothing like being able to say I was out on the river seeing what these guys do,” said Blumenthal.

The Coast Guard originally planned to keep forming a channel upstream, but when the Haddam Swing Bridge wouldn’t open because of mechanical issues, the crew decided to focus their efforts ddownstream

As the vessels plow into the ice jam, huge chunks break free and sometimes get caught on banks, debris, or each other, downstream. Sometimes the crew has to backtrack to loosen the newer ice jams that effectively help bottleneck the river.

“We literally find ourselves breaking out a lot of the ice that we broke out yesterday,” said BMC Anthony Kaminski.

And his crew will continue clearing ice downstream for the rest of the day. On Friday, the mission upstream continues.

“As long as we can keep breaking it up, we’re going,” said BMC Kaminski. “We’re going hard. So we’re having fun, too.”

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