Extreme cold delays Seaway closing

Federal Biscay passing Morrisburg December 31st, 2017. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – The ongoing cold snap that has seen overnight temperatures dip below -28 Celsius and daytime temperatures well below seasonal norms across Eastern Ontario has caused delays with closing the 2017 shipping season on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Originally scheduled to close to normal traffic December 24th, and permit-based traffic December 31st, has been extended into the new year.

One of the last ships in the system, the Federal Biscay (pictured above), passed Morrisburg on New Year’s Eve bound for overseas.

As of press time late Tuesday, the ship was stuck in the Snell Lock near Massena, New York, due to ice buildup on the hull jamming the lock.

At least three more ships need to transit the system. Environment Canada ended the extreme cold warning for the region January 2nd, but forecast temperatures to plummet by the weekend.