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Ice Jams Causing Trouble Along Rivers In Connecticut

U.S. Coast Guard
Two U.S. Coast Guard vessels are working to break up ice along the Connecticut River.

Massive chunks of ice have been causing problems along the Housatonic and Connecticut Rivers.

Speaking on WNPR’s Where We Live, Kent First Selectman Bruce Adams said the ice and flooding on the Housatonic River have caused a few homes in his town to be evacuated.

“We have a rather surreal scene of huge chunks of ice, which have formed on the river and … have frozen together,” Adams said. “We have about a mile-long ‘barge,’ it’s been called, of ice  in the river.”

Adams said Route 7 was temporarily closed because of the ice. And hundreds of students at the Kent School were temporarily sent home due to flooding concerns.

Meanwhile, ice jams are also a problem on the Connecticut River.

The U.S. Coast Guard has dispatched a second “icebreaker” to help with the problem.

“We have our 65-foot harbor tugs, which are also our icebreaking tugs,” said Lieutenant Junior Grade Shannon Andrew, from the Coast Guard. “We’ve got the Bollard out of New Haven and the Hawser out of Bayonne, New Jersey.”

Andrew said cold temperatures, followed by a quick warm spell, broke up a lot of the river’s ice -- which then re-froze, causing stacked “ice jams.”

That’s caused flooding concerns, but Andrew said so far damage along the Connecticut River remains minimal.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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