USCG to Clear Ice Jams in Maine

Following one the harshest New England winters on record, the US Coast Guard is preparing to clear ice jams threatening to flood the Penobscot River banks in Maine.

As the ice chokes points along the winding river, spring runoff from rain and melting snow has nowhere to go but over the banks.

A team of Coast Guard 65-foot Small Harbor Tugs, the Bridle, Tackle, and Shackle, are making way up the Penobscot this week to strategically break the ice and prevent flooding. Designed with sturdy steel hulls, the tugs are capable of breaking 18 inches of ice while moving forward, and 21 inches when backing and ramming into it.

This mission is part of Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW), the Coast Guard’s region-wide effort to ensure Northeast communities had the security, supplies, energy, and emergency resources they needed throughout the winter.

Image: USCG