Ice breaking operations underway on the Penobscot River

PORTLAND, Maine- Coast Guard Cutters Thunder Bay, Bridle and Tackle began ice breaking operations December 22 on the Penobscot River in Maine from the Interstate 395 Bridge to Bald Hill.

The cutters encountered light to moderate ice conditions due to mild temperatures throughout December.

During last week’s operation the Tackle observed snow-covered ice, eight-to-12 inches thick, attached to the shore. The cutters are maintaining a track through the ice so a barge can transit to the Cianbro facility in Brewer, Maine, in late February.

The Cianbro facility is on the site of the former Eastern Fire Paper mill.

“The ice breakers will maintain the channel on a weekly basis until the barge makes its scheduled delivery,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jeff Chase, the aids to navigation officer at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “Once the barge departs about a week later, the Coast Guard crews will head to the Kennebec River and break ice to help prevent flooding.”

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