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Coast Guard expected to break ice up on the Connecticut River

The Coast Guard will also work on rivers in New York and Maine

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Soon, a Coast Guard ice breaker will be working to break up the ice on the Connecticut River to keep the shipping channel clear from Old Saybrook to Hartford.

The ice-breaking is a yearly practice. The goal is to make it possible for the delivery of home heating oil to tanks in the Hartford area, among other supplies. 

"Of the heating oil used in the country, more than 85% is consumed in the Northeast, and 90 %of that is delivered on a Coast Guard maintained waterway by ship," said the Coast Guard in a press release. 

RELATED: Coast guard working to break up ice jams on Connecticut River

The New Haven-based Coast Guard cutter Bollard, which is over 50 years old, also replaces aids to navigation with special ice buoys designed to ride underneath the ice and remain on location.

Back in 2018, the weather had been so cold the ship had trouble getting through some ice jams.

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At the time, fireman Jeff Predella of the U.S. Coast Guard said: "We were up here for like a solid two weeks straight trying to get it, we’d flush it all out and the next it’d freeze all up."

RELATED: Coast Guard crew breaking the ice on the Connecticut River

Flooding prevention is another goal of the actions. Ice can dam up the water flow, sending the river over its banks to flood low-lying areas. 

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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