AUGUSTA – The U.S. Coast Guard has abandoned efforts to break up ice on the Kennebec River.
It sent three ice breakers up the river over the last week, but they ran into problems. They made it up as far as the Kennebec Bridge in Richmond before finding ice that was too thick to break. They also say the ice that was broken didn’t flow out to sea as expected. The ice is up to five feet thick in some areas.
One of those ice breakers will now be dispatched to the Penobscot River and the rest are heading to their homeports.
Ice jams along the Kennebec have been contributing to flooding in some communities.
The Coast Guard will return to that river in the spring for the annual spring break-out that will help lessen the chances of flood causing ice jams.