DETROIT — U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews have kicked off Operation Coal Shovel icebreaking operations in parts of the Great Lakes.

The effort got going Friday. It encompasses southern Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, Detroit River, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Coast Guard icebreakers from both countries work together to break ice in the waterways as conditions worsen throughout the winter. The Coast Guard also provides flood mitigation assistance as requested from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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