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BREWER – Earlier this month, area residents watched as the U.S. Coast Guard cutters Thunder Bay and Shackle worked their way up and down the Penobscot River, carving through the ice in an effort to open up the river following a long winter.

According to official spokespeople, the annual operation is executed to help prevent inland flooding; the ice is broken up and allowed to flow downstream. It winds up in the ocean rather than city parking lots and basements when the spring thaw arrives in earnest.

But is that REALLY why they’re doing it?

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