Buffalo, NY (WBEN) For the past week, the Buffalo Fireboat Edward M Cotter has been breaking up ice along the Buffalo River in an effort to alleviate flooding.
It was tough at first. "It was slow going last Monday as we left our dock it took 90 minutes to break out of our dock, and it took eight hours to get the Hatch Restaurant," says Captain Tom Bunk. Bunk says in the last week, progress has been made. "We're encountering 8-16 inches of ice, and we have 85 percent of the ice broken up into smaller pieces," says Bunk, as the crew heads upstream toward Lake Erie.
Bunk says he'll be working with a number of agencies as it goes through the river Friday. "We've been out here, doing our best to serve the community the best we can," says Bunk. "The Cotter is 118 feet long, 24 feet wide, 1,000 horsepower, but we have to be conscious of how the water's flowing and how we can operate safely," reminding us the Cotter is a machine.