Rideau River Blasting Crew | Explotech breaks the ice

Rideau River Blasting Crew blows up ice off Sussex Drive — Explotech in Action

Earlier today I had the great pleasure of witnessing the Rideau River Blasting Crew perform some pow wow action! Unbeknownst to me, every year the City of Ottawa, in partnership with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, performs an exciting water management ritual during the months of February and March to prevent spring time flooding in the Rideau River watershed. Among other initiatives, this ritual involves blasting compacted ice-jams near Rideau Falls and the Sussex Drive Bridge with TNT before the ice impacts the flow of water and dams everything up!

Featured here – and pack’n heat – are some City of Ottawa workers and explosive experts performing controlled explosions! A big thanks to Marc who shared a few insights with me on the operation. In addition to the wide angle photo I took here, I’ve since learned that the British Broadcasting Corporation recently videotaped the annual affair for its Human Planet television documentary series, which can be found here.

Overall, a spectacular sight to watch, and a whole new dimension for me on the words: “blow up” (as seen here with the water towering into the sky after a blast) and “break the ice” (as seen here to warm things up and create a flow).

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