Ice Breaker Works to Clear Path for Smith Island Residents

Smith Island residents are used to living a more isolated lifestyle than those on the mainland shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

But the ongoing deep freeze in the Bay region has left 4 to 5 inches of ice frozen around Smith Island. The ice prevented the school boat, mail boat, and commercial fishermen from getting where they needed to go.

By Wednesday in Somerset County, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources had sent out the state’s Icebreaker, J. Millard Tawes, three days in a row, to clear a path for those essential services.

Governor Larry Hogan also promised to support the remote island with resources, as a coastal winter storm approaches this week:

“Our administration is working tirelessly to ensure fuel and supplies get to Smith Island ahead of the winter weather,” said Governor Hogan in a Tweet.

Here’s the icebreaker’s view from the water, approaching Tylerton, Smith Island:


And here is the cleared path the icebreaker left behind at Ewell, Smith Island: