Dynamite used on Sebewaing River ice jams - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Dynamite used on Sebewaing River ice jams

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(02/19/14) - With mild temperatures and melting snow and ice, controlled explosions in Huron County Wednesday were an attempt to prevent flooding.

Sebewaing officials and residents hope dynamiting will break up river ice and move it away before it causes problems.

Officials say the Sebewaing River will push the cracked ice out into Saginaw Bay, preventing flooding and property damage.

Village leaders worked with the Department of Environmental Quality, The Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers - spending about three hours triggering dynamite charges on Wednesday.

They say the ice is up to two feet thick in spots and they wanted to be proactive rather than wait for major flooding problems when it melts.

Originally, they had planned to do this Thursday, but with the warmer forecast and the possibility of rain, they decided Wednesday was the day.

People who live nearby are thankful for the quick action.

Betty McGee ventured out to watch the explosive show.

"I live right here on the river, and I was taking some pictures, but I didn't get any real good ones," she said.

She's still thankful for this sight.

"We were in Florida a couple of weeks ago and my husband was so concerned he had to get home and get some insurance on the house, so it's a relief," she said.

The dynamite process is not new for the area. Officials say it was used often in the 60s and 70s, but this is the first time in 13 years they've had to turn to explosives due to the harsh winter.

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