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.

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UK Playground Feared to Harbor UXO

Moray, United Kingdom Aerial photographs found during an archival research revealed a residential park was actually constructed over an area that was once an Army WWII era camp. The playground actually overlapped a former trench training area. Concerns that UXO were never screened for or cleared during construction of the park and playground led to widespread fears among the residents.

A contractor was hired to conduct an investigation at the site. To date, only scrap metal has been located, but parents in the area have expressed concern that children have been playing on ground that could house explosive threats. Local officials maintain the safety of the park and no closures or evacuations have taken place.

Sparks Fly Over Fracking Plan on Potential UXO Site

Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom A leading fracking firm is expected to start drilling on the site of the former Royal Ordnance Factory near Daneshille Lakes in the near future. The factory was one of three built to produce cordite (a form of smokeless propellant designed to replace gunpowder) during WWII. The drilling has sparked concerns from local officials over the potential for UXO at the site. The fracking company believes that the site is safe but opponents reference Environmental Agency (EA) reports that states "most MoD sites that operated during the war were military targets, there is often an issue of unexploded ordnance."

The drilling site, approximately half the size of a soccer field, is an area that was never developed during the construction or use of the ordnance factory. Initial intrusive investigations at the site did not reveal any indicators of UXO (e.g., presence of frag, munitions debris). The company has all the required permits from EA to begin but officials at the EA have "requested soil samples to provide conclusive proof that there are no residual explosives on site."


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