Coast guard working to break up ice jams on Connecticut River

ESSEX -- Flooding and ice jams continue to plague parts of the Connecticut River where the Coast Guard has been called in to break up the ice.

Locals say these are some of the worst ice jams they have ever seen.

“Well I come out here almost every morning to take pictures of sunrise," says Rachael Keating of East Haddam . "But this ice phenomenon is very intriguing.”

Some add that it has been more than a decade since they've seen the river iced over.

“Once before but many years ago, many years ago," says Joanne Bernard of East Haddam.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bollard, a 65 foot ship, is plying its way up the Connecticut River from Old Saybrook to Middletown chopping up ice, and reducing the risk of flooding.

"I know it is causing a lot of damage but it is beautiful to look at," says Joanne Bernard of East Haddam.

The Coast Guard saying Tuesday's mission is taking longer than normal because of the high volumes and thickness of ice.

“It's just so amazing to see all this ice I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life," says Elizabeth Bartlett of Essex. "I wanted my son to see it.”

Bartlett's son was happy to get to go to school a little late on Tuesday after taking in the views.

“It was pretty cool," says Robert Bassett. “Ten thousand chunks of ice!”

Picture after picture, many stopped to take in the frozen wonders to share with loved ones near and far.

"It’s crazy Ive never seen the river do this," says Deanna Kilbourn of Durham. "It’s been posted all over Facebook.”

The Bollard can break up to 12 inches of ice at a time without having to stop. The Coast Guard says the ice breaker will be out for the next three days trying to alleviate all of the ice jams.