Breaking the Ice: People Turn Out for ‘Interesting’ Sight

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FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio--To help prevent flooding and ice jams along the Grand River our neighbors from the north are helping to clean up the problem in Fairport Harbor.

"When it jams up like this, the river just can't make it out to the lake. Then when it backs up, it overflows the banks," said Captain Jeff Braemer with the Fairport Harbor Fire Department.

Due to the recent flooding, the coast guard in Canada is lending Fairport Harbor a hand by lending them the icebreaker 'Griffon' to clear the mouth of the Grand River which is jammed up with huge chunks of ice.

"The other two coast guard cutters from Cleveland were busy on the western basin taking care of the shipping lanes. That's why they contacted the Canadian Coast Guard who sent the cutter we have down here this morning. They are working on the mouth of the river to see if they can open this up for us to get the river flowing again," said Braemer.

The parking lot at the harbor was busy with people who stopped by with binoculars and
cameras to see the Canadian icebreaker.

"My neighbor and I have never seen an ice cutter before and because we are in this area for years and years we just thought it would be interesting to see," said Debbie Shelton from Painesville.

Some local residents said they came down to see the icebreaker in action because they are concerned about the Grand River flooding again.

"We are a manufacturing company here in town and we are right off the river. We've had cases in the past where we had river flooding,” said Andrew Rowley of Painesville.

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