Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blasted ice again

I don't mean the icicles that hang by the wall in the melt-freeze-melt-freeze sequence that always occurs at this time of year. I refer to the rivers––it's happening again: they are dynamiting the ice near the bridges on Sussex Drive and the Minto Bridges, just above the Rideau Falls. Yesterday, in fact, a section of Sussex Drive was closed all day during these operations.

Our house shakes and rattles from the explosions. We watched the operations for a while today, three sticks of dynamite being used at a time, and then the ice floes slowly move away from the continuous river ice towards the Falls where they break into fragments as they tip over.

The Rideau Falls, this morning, photograph by Chris Hobbs
The "nibbler," as my husband calls it, meaning the amphibious excavator which I have featured in this blog before, has been at work on the Ottawa River below the Rideau Falls, making room for the extra ice that's coming over. This year a reporter on the CBC radio program, Ottawa Morning, Hallie Cotman, had a ride on the amphibex. From the recording you can hear how noisy the machine is. The reporter also sounds rather nervous, on board. The crew teased her!

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