- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

KENT NARROWS, Md. (AP) - This winter’s chilly weather has crews breaking up ice on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries for the first time in years.

The Department of Natural Resources’ John Gallagher says this is likely the most ice Maryland has had in at least five years. Crews started breaking up ice Wednesday around Kent Narrows to keep the waterway accessible. The freezing weather has created ice about 6 inches thick.

The state has four boats available to break up ice. They are kept near Smith Island, Annapolis, Cambridge and Kent Narrows.

Officials say clearing ice-clogged waterways ensures first responders can provide assistance and allows watermen to maintain their business. It also allows fuel boats to reach Salisbury and Smith Island and marine builders to move barges to job sites.

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