Manitoba’s four Amphibex icebreaking machines are ready to hit the Red River after being retrofitted to better attack the ice.
The machines will tackle the river in February north of Selkirk to carry out ice-jam mitigation. The front pedestal of the 22-ton machines has been reinforced to support hydraulic boom arms, which pulls the Amphibex onto solid ice.
“Experience has shown how quickly ice-jam-related flooding can develop and the ice cutters, icebreaking machines and personnel will create a path for river ice to move,” said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton.
Ice-cutting machines normally move on to the ice in early February, first creating a grid pattern. Then the Amphibex equipment follows the pattern, breaking the ice and creating a free-flowing channel to enable ice chunks to move once the breakup begins.
Ice fishers, snowmobilers and other river users will see notices posted in areas where the Amphibex machines are working.
The province will release its first 2016 flood outlook during the last week of February.