Dynamite to be used to crack ice on Sebewaing River - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Dynamite to be used to crack ice on Sebewaing River

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SEBEWAING (WJRT) -

(02/13/14) - This harsh winter is causing the village of Sebewaing to do something it hasn't done in 13 years.

Dynamite will be used to blow up ice on the Sebewaing River and prevent a major flood in town.

We talked to a number of area people who live in Sebewaing. They tell us this used to happen all the time, but it's been a while since we've had a winter like this.

Ninety-one-year-old Della Gettel says they've had bad spring floods in Sebewaing in the past, but people who live in the small Huron County town are really concerned about flooding this year.

"Now that the ice is thicker, a lot more snow, they are a little worried this spring because what happens, if that river gets high enough, all the basements flood," said Don Parsell.

The village is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with state and local agencies to break up the ice on the river. The plan is to drill holes in the ice several feet apart. Dynamite is placed in the holes and exploded.

Parsell has seen it done.

"It kinds of lifts the ice up and cracks it," he said.

Folks at the Sebewaing Senior Meal Site, which sits along the river, say the ice blocks the water from draining into the Saginaw Bay.

"The chunks, they get so huge," Gettel said.

Faye Juengel remembers visiting her daughter here 15 years ago, when they didn't use dynamite.

"It buckled. They didn't dynamite, and the water came in there, her whole basement was flooded. People were coming down her road in rowboats," Juengel said.

Signs have been placed around town warning residents that the ice won't be safe after the dynamite is set off. Linda Deeg has been told in the past that residents should heed another warning, too.

"Oh, they are going to dynamite the river, you have to cover this pipe in the basement because the rats will come up through," Deeg said.

The dynamite is scheduled to be placed in the ice next week. It's supposed to be triggered on Feb. 20.

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