Explosives Used As A Flood Mitigation Tool

Sebewaing, Michigan Huron County Road Commission workers and contractors working under a USACE funded flood control project utilized explosives to break ice in the Sebewaing River near the mouth to Saginaw Bay. The project was carried out in coordination with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The purpose of the blasting was to prevent ice dams from forming and to reduce the potential for flooding in the spring time. Ice blasting is only required when certain conditions are met including thick ice (> 2-feet thick) and a fast spring thaw is expected. The blasting also helps to protect downstream bridges by helping to break apart large blocks of ice that get carried away with the current during the spring thaw.

Residents along the river were asked to prepare for the blasts by removing pictures from the walls and to pack away fragile valuables such as fine-china in cabinets during the blasting operations. No incidents were reported during this year's blasting.

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