BANGOR — Three Coast Guard ships are getting ready to start breaking ice on the Penobscot River to help prevent ice jam flooding in the Bangor area.

Coast Guard officials say ice breaking operations are scheduled to begin near Brewer on Tuesday afternoon. The ice breaking will be visible from the shoreline and bridges connecting Bangor and Brewer.

Coast Guard Lt. David Bourbeau says cold winter temperatures created “a lot more ice than normal” on the river and the ice breakers need to get the waterway open so runoff can flow when ice starts melting.

The Coast Guard says its goal is to clear ice south of the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge. The effort may take as long as three days.

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