DULUTH, Minn. (AP)
- Thick ice on Lake Superior is causing shipping delays, with about 60 ships
waiting to enter the area, according to the Coast Guard.
The ships are
“certainly not delivering the raw material at the frequency that the
facilities need,” said Mark Gill, director of vessel traffic services for
the Coast Guard at the Soo Locks between Lakes Superior and the lower lakes.
“That’s put a drain universally on steel production, power production, grain
shipments, and many other industries that suffer as a result of that.”
Lake Superior is
still about 60 percent ice covered, Gill told Minnesota Public Radio News.
Three heavy ice breakers are escorting convoys of five ships across the
lake, where wind-blown ice is still 8 feet thick in places.
The season’s first
trip from Duluth to lower Lake Michigan took two weeks. It normally takes
less than three days. Some steel mills and power plants around the Great
Lakes have run low on supplies of iron ore and coal.
Gill hopes convoys
will only be needed for another week to 10 days.