Waiting for the Water

The diversion of water from the St. Mary's River into the Milk River was started on March 16th, 2009.  I think this is about 2-3 weeks earlier than normal.  They are going to ramp it up slowly, but it could still make it for a pretty interesting spring breakup.  We've lived through a winter that was more like what I remember from 30 years ago.  The river has built up a lot of ice and the breakup could be pretty spectacular.  The sound of the ice cracking, popping, grinding and rumbling is pretty impressive and is something I haven't seen for quite a while.  Large chunks of ice can get thrown up over the river banks and ice jams can form, dramatically increasing the level in the river.  These jams then scrape along the outside of the river banks sometimes undercutting and dropping large chunks of the bank onto the ice. 

I took a few pictures on March 22nd, 2009 at about 4:30pm by the bridge where highway 880 crosses the Milk River and from my yard about 8 kms east of the bridge.