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Operation Coal Shovel underway to assist in breaking ice along St. Clair River and other waterways

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Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 19:50:52-05

(WXYZ) — The U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday evening the start of Operation Coal Shovel, which will include ice breaking from southern Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit River system, lakes Erie and Ontario out to the St. Lawrence Seaway.

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

This is a common practice by U.S. and Canadian coast guards to break down the build-up of ice along these waterways, which tends to worsen throughout the winter months.

Michiganders living along the St. Clair River have been dealing with severe flooding since Tuesday due to ice. Roads and riverfront backyards have been damaged. A flood warning was issued for southeastern St. Clair County in response. The warning isn't expected to expire until 10 a.m. Thursday.

Officials say the Coast Guard Sector Detroit and the Canadian Coast Guard will continue to monitor hazardous ice conditions while doing ice breaking operations on the Great Lakes.

The Coast Guard recommends all recreational ice users plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels. Waterway users and island residents should stay tuned to local media for the status of channel closures, a release states.