Ice Jam Fears Ease for Some Marina Owners on Connecticut River

The Coast Guard continued to chip away at the ice jam on the Connecticut River, but it was blue waters and a smooth current out in Essex Wednesday.

Marinas and businesses downstream are no longer that worried about what that floating ice will mean for them.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Alex Yuknat of RiverQuest.

Last week staff was worried that ice from the ice jam would come spilling down the Connecticut River and take out their boat docked at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex.

But the warmer weather, the current and the U.S. Coast Guard breaking up the ice has helped ease those concerns.

“There are going to be big sheets coming down and big chunks of ice but they should, for the most part, stay toward the eastern side of the river,” Yuknat said.

He did move the boat forward to better protect it behind the dock, just in case.

The ice melted over in Old Saybrook, too, by Oak Leaf Marina.

Owner Scott Masse said every winter he’s concerned about the quarter-mile long sheets of ice floating down the river and damaging the docks. But as far as the ice jam is concerned, he said everything is back to work as usual.

“I don’t know if the wind held it off, or the ice in the marina, but we really didn’t get any damage which was really nice,” said Stephanie McLaughlin, marina manager at Brewer Essex Island Marina.

McLaughlin said it’s been a pretty good winter so far; she just lost some pilings. She will keep an eye on the river in case the ice has other plans.

“If the wind changes and pushes all the chunks into the docks, we might have some problems. But so far it’s been pretty good,” she said. “So I’m hoping for no change there.”

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