Coast Guard and state agencies advise public to remove fish shacks on Kennebec River

GARDINER, Maine — As ice jams continue to cause problems on the Kennebec River, the Coast Guard, Maine Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Marine Resources are advising anyone with a fishing shack still out on the Kennebec to remove it immediately, if they can do so safely.

“We strongly urge people to remove any remaining shacks, if they can do so safely, before we begin ice breaking operations tomorrow,” said Chief Warrant Officer Bob Albert, the Aids to Navigation Officer for Sector Northern New England. “Any shacks left on the ice may be destroyed.”

The 65-foot Coast Guard Cutter Tackle, homeported in Rockland, Maine, will arrive and assess the feasibility of conducting ice breaking operations in the Kennebec River from Bath to Gardiner, Thurs., Jan. 28, 2010. The 140-foot Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay, homeported in New London, Conn., is expected to arrive later in the week to assist.

MEMA’s director, Rob McAleer stressed that the river ice is extremely dangerous and that fishermen should consult with local officials to determine if they could remove the shacks safely.

Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency reported as of 9:00 a.m., Wed., Jan. 27, 2010, the ice jam that moved out of Augusta last night had re-formed in Farmingdale, south of Hallowell. The jam was approximately a mile long. Water levels in Augusta and Hallowell remain over 17 feet, more than 5 feet above flood stage.

In addition to the Kennebec, other areas of concern are:

  • Piscataquis County: Ice remains in place in several locations on the Piscataquis River but water is flowing around the ice and causing no immediate problems
  • Oxford County: Fryeburg area: Route 113 and the bridge over the Saco remain closed as a precaution
  • Franklin County: Several locations in Farmington, Phillips and New Sharon have caused local road closures
  • Penobscot County: Maxfield Road in Milbridge is closed

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