Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Breaking up is hard to do...

Or not... if it's the seasonal ice break-up on the Rideau River!

Early every March the city has to dynamite the river ice ahead of the Spring melt to get things moving. One of the reasons is that people upriver built on the floodplain, which of course FLOODS in the Spring due to ice build-up (are these people daft, or just victims of unscrupulous developers?). A side benefit is watching the huge chunks of ice go over Rideau Falls, and piling up at the bottom, as the dam gates are slowly opened to let increasing amounts of water through. The amount of ice varies, and sometimes it builds high enough to match the height of the falls! Then a few days later it will get too heavy and sink down, leaving a large pool that just gets wider as the Ottawa River ice also starts to melt.

The photos and video were taken last weekend, showing this large ice pile. The video (posted to YouTube and linked back here) also shows a charge of dynamite going off, resulting in someone's minivan getting dented by a chunk of falling ice.


-N- said...

Cool pics and video! I've been seeing that wall of ice on my way over the King Edward bridge on my way to work- wow! I should try to get over there and see it close up.

Is that your voice on the video? It sounds like someone else.

Mark said...

I was going over the Mac-Cartier bridge yesterday and looked over to see that most of the pile is still there, so I hope to get to it tomorrow and see what's left.

And yes, of course that's my voice. You think those dulcet tones could belong to anyone else? ;)