Breaking up of six mile CT River ice jam has begun

HADDAM --  The First Selectwoman of Haddam was concerned that milder temperatures and heavy rain could lead to flooding.

What it instead happened was an unexpected treat.

Just before 1 p.m., Tuesday, First Selectwoman Lizz Milardo (R - Haddam) received a call from the Connecticut Department of Transportation saying they had just received a request from the Coast Guard to open the bridge so that three of their cutters could begin breaking up a six mile ice jam that had clogged the Connecticut River for nine days.

“It’s a really good sign to see those cutters already up here because they were just in Deep River yesterday,” Milardo says. “So, to see that they made it this far this quick, knowing how quick the progress has been, is extremely encouraging.”

She noted the mild temperatures for the past couple of days and heavy rains have served as a major aid to the Coast Guard.

“The progress I’ve seen them make in the past 15 minutes, I think took a whole day a few days ago. So, this is really great. It’s great news,” she added.

“The water is going where we wanted to go,” Milardo said. “It’s going down river and the pieces are small enough so we are good. It’s looking safe.”

The owner of Andrews Marina, David Papallo, is concerned about the now free-flowing ice.

“It’s a wide river and one that tries to come by and that ice is going to get pushed into a narrow section here,” he said. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”

The three boats, which are moored in Deep River, are scheduled to be back north of the Swing Bridge beginning 8 a.m., Wednesday.