Coast Guard helicopter crew assists with river evaluations

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., assisted local industry and Coast Guard representatives in evaluating the severity of icing on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, Feb. 4, 2009.

The HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter crew conducted over flights of portions of the upper Mississippi River and Illinois River to determine the severity of icing on the river. Ice conditions not only reduce water levels but can also build up under barges and towing vessels causing them to ground without touching the river bottom.

Navigating in ice conditions can be difficult because ice can displace aids to navigation, form into ice gorges and damage the hulls of towing vessels and barges.

“The Coast Guard is committed to partnering with industry and using all available resources to mitigate the economic impact of icing conditions caused by the recent frigid temperatures,” said Capt. Steve Hudson, captain of the port, Sector Upper Mississippi River.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sangamon is shown moored amongst sheets of ice at its homeport in Peoria, Ill., during a Coast Guard over flight to evaluate the ice conditions on the upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Feb. 4, 2009.  The flights by the HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Traverse City, Mich., provided a bird's eye view of the icing conditions on the rivers to help industry and Coast Guard representatives determine how to mitigate the economic impact of the icy waterways.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sangamon is shown moored amongst sheets of ice at its homeport in Peoria, Ill., during a Coast Guard over flight to evaluate the ice conditions on the upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Feb. 4, 2009. The flights by the HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Traverse City, Mich., provided a bird's eye view of the icing conditions on the rivers to help industry and Coast Guard representatives determine how to mitigate the economic impact of the icy waterways.

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