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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Kennebec River Ice Breaking to Commence Saturday March 12

Kennebec River Ice Breaking to Commence Saturday March 12


March 11, 2011


The US Coast Guard has announced it will conduct ice breaking operations in the Kennebec River beginning Saturday, March 12, 2011 and will continue until Tuesday, March 15.

The purpose of ice breaking operations is to reduce the risk of property damage that may be caused by ice jams and flooding. Ice breaking operations will be conducted in the main channel of the Kennebec River from Merrymeeting Bay to Gardiner.

All persons should remove ice fishing shacks from the river immediately, and proceed with extreme caution in areas where the Coast Guard will break ice.

Somerset and Kennebec County public officials and volunteers will be monitoring the river closely for any sign of ice movement and jamming. All interests along the river should pay close attention to official warnings. Ice jams can cause rapid rise of water behind the jam. If the jam then breaks, water will rapidly rise downstream.

Formation of ice jams cannot be predicted. However, the recent rise in river levels from rain and snowmelt is providing conditions for ice to move, and potentially create jams.

The objective of Coast Guard ice breaking operations is to open the Kennebec River downstream of Gardiner. This provides an open channel so that upstream ice can move freely downstream and out of the river.





Last update: 07/20/10