People lined up on the waterfront in Bangor Saturday.
They weren’t there for a concert, but it was quite a show.
An essential service was performed by the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Just watching the river, how fast it’s moving, it’s kind of amazing to see these big chunks of ice moving out now. It’s pretty impressive, actually,” said Bangor Fire Chief Scott Lucas.
Spectators lined the Bangor waterfront to experience the U.S. Coast Guard helping the city out with the backup of ice.
Ice jams in the Penobscot River and Kenduskeag Stream forced flood warnings for Bangor.
“This is kind if crazy. We were here yesterday, and went downtown, and it was really scary over there. It’s like, really, really close to the bridge. But, I’ve never seen this before. I think this is probably a once in a lifetime thing,” said Mary Ellen Daigle of Brewer.
Once in a lifetime for many, but not for Ken Rowell. He’s seen this before.
“Probably 70 years ago,”said Rowell. ”I thought the old ice breakers were bigger, but of course, I was about 20. But, they work together and get it done and they clear it out. That’s what I like to see.”
It’s also what Chief Lucas likes to see. He says they’ve been monitoring the river every day and have even gotten some ice rescue training in. He was watching with his son, Carter.
“It’s cool. The ships are breaking a lot of ice. So the river won’t flood into the city,” said Carter Lucas.
“I think it’s wonderful they were able to get up here and avert any kind of incident downtown. We’ve been very fortunate for several years, if even decades,” said Lucas.
He says having the help of the coast guard is necessary for many reasons.
“I don’t like to speculate, but, you can only imagine if ice keeps building up, then the water keeps getting high, and the tide rises, then you know, it’s potentially inevitable for something to happen downtown, so, I like to look at the positive side. It’s a good thing they’re here,” said Lucas.