The U.S. Coast Guard roamed the waters of the Connecticut River in East Haddam Tuesday breaking up ice blanketing the surface.
That ice is only half as thick as it was last year, giving people in the area hope the kind of damage they saw in 2018 won’t come again.
"It’s very interesting, especially with the stuff that happened last year," said Jarrett Cacace of Chester.
Just across from the river at La Vita at Goodspeed Landing, there are memories of last year’s ice jams and happiness that so far, that’s not the case in 2019.
"This year it’s been the most mild winter I’ve seen in the last four or five years. Last year it was crazy," said Chester resident Gary Torello.
"We had people who’ve never been to this area down here taking photos. It was really great for business," said Alexina Hebert.
Hebert, who works at the restaurant, said the ice of 2018 created a boom for business with people coming from all over to see it. The tradeoff was all the damage that ice caused, something she hopes won’t repeat this year.
"Very happy that it hasn’t happened again. It was very bad for a lot of homes along the river," Hebert said.
The NBC Connecticut meteorologists don’t expect the ice on the river to be nearly as problematic as last year, when the ice pushed water onto land, flooding homes and businesses in the area. Residents hope the temperatures hold so we don’t see any more of that.
"That would be nice. The less flooding, the better," Cacace said.
It's worth noting that the USCG crew out on the river is working without pay during the federal government shutdown. The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military not getting paid during the shutdown.