Manitoba Unveils New Amphibex Ice-Breaking Machine

The Province of Manitoba has purchased this new Amphibex ice-breaker as seen here on Friday, February 10, 2012 in East Selkirk. (STAN MILOSEVIC / MANITOBAPHOTOS.COM)

Manitoba is adding more tools to its flood-fighting arsenal with the addition of another Amphibex ice-breaking machine.

The Amphibex AE 400 is the province’s latest machine meant to prevent river ice jams and alleviate the potential for flooding in the spring. It will replace the first Amphibex, bringing the total of ice-breakers to three.

The $1.2 million piece of equipment was unveiled Friday morning during a media event in East Selkirk by Premier Greg Selinger.

“The new Amphibex will replace the original machine and joins the two newest machines that have proven to be good investments in reducing the formation of ice jams by removing or breaking up ice in threatened areas,” Selinger said. “Ice jams are unpredictable, but we know from experience that these machines can make a difference and are an important part of our overall flood-fighting efforts.”

The latest 20-tonne Amphibex comes with improved hydraulics and structural strength, and will have a dedicated trailer to transport it between assignments.

Ice-cutting machines will be used in the spring to make cuts along and across rivers to weaken the ice before the Amphibex can do its job.

The first 2012 flood outlook is expected to be released in late February.