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Ice in St. Clair River causing major flooding issues; Coast Guard works to break it up

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Posted at 5:18 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 18:17:15-05

(WXYZ) — People along the St. Clair River are dealing with major flooding issues as icy water is flowing into roads and riverfront back yards.

PHOTOS: Ice in St. Clair River causing major flooding issues

The situation triggered a flood warning for southeastern St. Clair County or most of the morning. It has now been lifted. Both the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard worked to ease the flooding.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay, usually homeported in Detroit, but was brought to the river to deal with the flooding. It was on scene cutting ice Wednesday morning. The ice jams are the big culprit, which is forcing water inland.

Both the Bristol Bay and the Canadian Coast Guard ship Griffon were out breaking ice throughout the day on Tuesday. The Griffon wrapped up around 8:30 p.m. Both were back out Wednesday morning.

Conditions have improved slightly from what Chopper 7 captured last night. We're not seeing major road closures due to the flooding, but backyards are being flooded and there is some flooding in the parking lots of businesses along the river.

It's also causing major issues for people who live on Harsen's Island in Clay Township at the mouth of the St. Clair River. They're stuck on the island for now because the ferry to bring them to the mainland isn't running due to the ice.

As the flooding continues, the temperatures are dropping this weekend into next week, with single-digits possible. That could cause an even bigger problem for residents if the floodwater freezes.

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The U.S. Coast Guard cutter works to break up ice along the St. Clair River on Feb. 3, 2021.
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The U.S. Coast Guard cutter works to break up ice along the St. Clair River on Feb. 3, 2021.
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The U.S. Coast Guard cutter works to break up ice along the St. Clair River on Feb. 3, 2021.
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The U.S. Coast Guard cutter works to break up ice along the St. Clair River on Feb. 3, 2021.