We were actually standing on the shore of the Yukon River when it broke this evening!
We were walking Hank in the 6pm hour. Jeff took Hank home while I walked further towards the tripod to see how close the edge of the ice was advancing, and to my surprise the river was moving and crumbling and thundering!
I was still quite a way from the tripod so I kept walking. People were starting to gather on the shore. A lady told me the river changed drastically in just the last 20 minutes while she went to get her daughter to come look.
I messaged Jeff to get his butt back to the river and sent a message to some other friends that break up was imminent.
Soon enough we were standing on the shore with Kyle and Eve and all the river started moving!!! It was so loud and exhilarating!
Bit by bit was getting gobbled up, joining the flow.
And then it stopped. Dead. Eerily silent. Nothing moving. just short of the tripod.
After about 10 minutes we could hear water flowing again. On the far side of the river, the water broke through and started carving out a new opening.
Ags and Cerys and Alex joined us. And then we waited. For an hour the new channel grew, lengthened and went way down to the ice road and hooked over to join another opening.
I was sure we were waiting for nothing. My legs grew stiff and my back crooked. I can’t remember last time I stood in one place for so long. I just about left but decided to wait it out.
Exactly one hour after it stopped dead, all the ice in front of us suddenly started shifting, slowly at first, all as one big piece, and the tripod went with it pulling the cable from the clock on shore to mark the winning time in the town’s ice pool.
The town siren rang out seconds later to alert all of town the ice was on the move and the crowd along the shore cheered. And we were there all together to see it!
I was over my daily calorie count, but what the heck. The Ice Cream store opened yesterday for the season so we celebrated the arrival of our summer with a couple scoops!
The town had put out piles of sand and free sandbags today, if anyone wanted or needed them.
Even the town flood gates were blocked with a pile of sand and gravel.
There will be a risk of ice jams and flooding for the next few days but so far it seems like we have a nice slow melt and an easy breakup. May 7th!
Wow! Thanks for filming the breakup of the mighty Yukon river for us. It was awesome!