The Associated Press is reporting that the Coast Guard will begin breaking the ice along the Kennebec River four days earlier than originally planned.

Due to today's heavy rain forecast the Coast Guard has asked that all ice fishing shacks be removed from the river so they can begin breaking up the ice to avoid any major flooding. Police in the area have also been warning residents to be aware that some flooding is still possible.

The Coast Guard has brought in two two ice cutters, the Thunder Bay, a 140-foot tug, which is featured in the video below and the Shackle, a 65-foot tug to aid in the ice breaking operations. After they're done with the Kennebec River they'll take care of the Penobscot the article reports.

The Associated Press reports Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Goodwin says the ice breaking operation is aimed at opening a channel to allow the ice to flow freely into the ocean.