Coast Guard adds 3rd cutter to help break ice on Connecticut River

The Coast Guard said its cutters would be back on the Connecticut River on Friday. (WFSB)

The U.S. Coast Guard has added a third cutter vessel to help break up the ice over the Connecticut River.

Coast Guard officials said on Monday the Pendant has made its way down from Boston.

The Pendant joined the Hawser and Bollard in East Haddam on Monday morning.

The cutters began chopping through the ice in Essex last week to break apart potentially dangerous ice jams, which continue to be a flooding a concern up and down the river.

At one point on Friday, one jam was between 4 and 6 miles long and several feet thick. It's restricting the water flow and causing it to back up.

The town of Haddam declared a state of emergency as a result of the potential flooding.

At Haddam Meadows, the ice jam is thick and caused concern by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection that gawkers don’t venture out onto the dangerous ice, or walk across the Swing Bridge at the Goodspeed. That’s where First Selectman Emmett Lyman got a bird’s eye view on Monday.

Even though the heavy rain that’s coming could loosen things up, the crossing is only for vehicles.

“The biggest concern is people walking across the bridge. It’s not safe,” Lyman said.

“It’s just amazing just to look at how its piled up though,” said Robert Stock.

He and his wife Luann got married at that spot two years ago, and they couldn’t believe what they were seeing on Monday.

Neither could Bill Yule, who has lived nearby for 70 years. He called it historic.

“I’ve never seen it like this. I’ve seen ice on the river but nothing like this,” Yule said.

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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