US and Canadian Coast Guard working on an ice plug near Port Lambton

The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Griffon at work in the St. Clair River Thursday

St. Clair Township providing sandbags for residents

Residents around Port Lambton are keeping a close eye on the ice in the St. Clair River and filling sandbags as the US and Canadian Coast Guard work to free up an ice plug in the area.

Officials says the ice plug has caused some flooding in the lower St. Clair River and St. Clair Flats area including Port Lambton and Walpole Island.

Canadian Coast Guard officials say the heaviest pressured ice seems to be at Willow Point near Walpole Island.

The Griffon has been conducting flushing operations at the St. Clair Cut off and the South Channel today to bring some of the ice floe into Lake St. Clair.

The US Coast Guard’s Bristol Bay is working near the ice plug at Port Lambton. They shutdown this evening and plan to resume work Friday morning.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s Samuel Risley arrived today and will work until 10 pm tonight around Port Lambton where the heaviest pressured ice is. The crew will be working again Friday.

“The outlook for tomorrow is that wind/weather conditions will be more favorable so that we may see less ice entering the river from Lake Huron. Water levels may rise overnight or fluctuate as ice continues to accumulate in the lower river,” said officials in a media advisory. “Water levels may rise overnight or fluctuate as ice continues to accumulate in the lower river.”

The impact on shipping has be minimal so far with two ships altering their schedules because of the ice.

Meantime, St. Clair Township has supplied sand and bags for residents in the Port Lambton area who are getting flooded by the plug.

Below are some of the images taken of the operations by the Canadian Coast Guard’s Francis Beaulieu