Icebreaking efforts to prevent floods along the Grand River are about to get underway.

The Grand River Conservation Authority says the Canadian Coast Guard is sending its CCGS Samuel Risley ship to the mouth of the river, at Port Maitland.

The ship is expected to arrive sometime this weekend, although the exact time is unknown due to the potential for delays related to weather and ice.

Across the Great Lakes, ice cover is at its highest level in at least 20 years.

There are fears that ice from Lake Erie could jam at the mouth of the Grand River, flooding the Dunnville area.

That’s what happened in 2009, the last time an icebreaker was called into the area.

According to the GRCA, warmer temperatures forecast for next week mean more snow will melt and water levels across the watershed will rise.

“Anyone who has ice huts or other equipment on the ice in the Grand River downstream of Dunnville Dam should be aware that the icebreaker could be deployed soon and should remove their property,” the GRCA said Thursday in a press release.

Recreational water users including anglers and snowmobilers are also advised to leave the area immediately if they see an icebreaker.