Recent cold weather has caused ice build-up along the St. Clair River and representatives of the Canadian Coast Guard say the agency is working to keep the waterway, deemed to be an essential conduit for supplies to and from many businesses in the Great Lakes region.
Early Monday morning (January 21), after the Canadian Coast Guard received reports of flooding along the lower St. Clair River, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was dispatched from Sarnia and commenced operations to clear the ice jams posing a flood risk at East China, Marine City and Algonac, on the American side of the river.
Icebreaking efforts continued throughout the night with the Griffon and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. A third icebreaker, the United States Coast Guard cutter Bristol Bay, joined the effort on Tuesday.
Water levels in this section of the St Clair River have dropped by about 18 inches over the last 24 hours thanks to icebreaking operations. A Canadian Coast Guard ice reconnaissance flight is underway to assess the latest conditions.
Commercial shipping in the area is now moving after being halted yesterday due to the ice jams. There is one-way traffic only between Port Lambton and the Walpole Island light under Coast Guard escort.