Thursday, February 28th 2019, 2:34 pm - Explosives will be used Saturday to break up ice near the Rideau River Dam
A loud and familiar sound will resonate from the Rideau River on Saturday as crews use explosives to break up the ice in preparation for warmer temperatures.
The work, being done by the City of Ottawa and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, will at first focus on the area between Rideau Falls and Hog's Back Falls.
A Rideau Valley Conservation Authority worker uses steam to start the process of removing ice at the Rideau Falls Dam. Crews must clear the ice so the gates can open freely, allowing water to flow. Credit: Hallie Cotnam/CBC
The annual preparations actually began earlier in February, with crews clearing snow and cutting "keys" into the ice where explosive gel will be set.
The gel will be activated Saturday, beginning the process of breaking up the ice and preventing spring flooding down river. An amphibious excavator will also be used to help break up the ice shelf and get water flowing.
City crews clear snow and cut keys into the ice at the Rideau Falls Dam to prepare for ice-breaking operations. Credit: Hallie Cotnam/CBC
ICE MUST BE REMOVED FROM RIDEAU FALLS DAM
One of the biggest jobs this year has been steaming the gates open around the Rideau Falls Dam after months of ice buildup.
The ice must be removed so the gates can be easily opened to allowing the water to flow.
Explosives are not used every year. This cold winter has made it necessary to break up the ice this year.
Ice buildup near the Rideau Falls Dam. Credit: Hallie Cotnam/CBC
Workers will continue to monitor the situation until water levels stabilize and the risk of spring flooding has passed.
Flood control on the Rideau River dates back to the early 1890s and helps prevent flooding in the region.
This article was originally published by CBC News.