Two U.S. Coast Guard cutters traveled up the Kennebec River to Gardiner Friday to complete the annual Kennebec River Spring Breakout, the Coast Guard said Monday.

Lt. David Bourbeau of the Coast Guard Waterways department said the decision was made to send the cutters back to their home ports because the ice had gone and offshore weather was rough.

“We had cutters ready to go and respond to any jams,” Bourbeau said. He said the agency did some reconnaissance along the shore last week after it rained, and then the cutters went up to Gardiner, but there weren’t any ice jams.

“Mother Nature took care of most of it for us,” Bourbeau said. “It was better and easier than we expected.”

Last week, the Coast Guard advised the community, including local smelt fishing camps, of plans to execute the breakup on March 1, but last week’s rain moved up the agency’s timeline.

Bourbeau participated in a conference call with the Coast Guard, National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the Maine Emergency Management Agency. He said he didn’t know the last time the agency had such an easy time with the breakout.

“We executed and satisfactorily completed the Kennebec River Spring Breakout,” Bourbeau said.

In 2013, the Coast Guard didn’t go up river in the spring because there was little or no ice in the lower part of the river.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ


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