Murphy's Law: Dam Busting Russian Bombers At Work


March 29, 2010:  Once more,  Russia is calling out the air force to bomb ice dams in Siberia. Early Spring in northern Russia often leads to ice breaking up, then forming dams. These are dangerous, as rising temperatures will eventually melt the ice, and the dam will collapse. This causes dangerous floods downstream as the backed up water surges forward. If there are people living downstream, eliminating these ice dams, before lots of water can backup behind them, is a matter of life and death.

Each Spring, aircraft are used to patrol the rivers in frozen northern areas, looking for ice dams forming. Usually, explosives are flown in by helicopter, lowered onto the ice dam, and detonated. But when there are a lot of ice dams, or some do not lend themselves to helicopter delivered explosives, the air force will be called in to bomb the dams. On occasion, if army artillery units are nearby, the guns will shell the dam and break it up.

This year, the air force was called out. It makes for good practice, and gets rid of older bombs that are about to age out (become too old, and unstable, for use.)



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