“The shipping season has begun, but ice remains,” says the New York Times.
23 Mar 2015 – “A deep freeze this winter left much of the Great Lakes blanketed in thick ice, sidelining the ship lines and companies that move vast amounts of grain, cement and other commodities through this system of waterways,” says the New York Times.
“Cold spells and snowstorms have taken a bite out of businesses across the Northeast and Midwest of the United States, as well as in Canada. Car manufacturers have blamed the weather for weak sales. Housing starts, too, have slumped. And blizzards in places like Boston have been brutal for many local businesses.”
Shipping is usually up and running by March. But the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway has been postponed until April 2. Even then, there is no assurance that all of the lakes, particularly choke points prone to ice buildup, will be navigable.
Last year, ice cover on the Great Lakes peaked at 92.5 percent and persisted in some places until June. This year, ice cover reached 89.1 percent.
“Two especially severe winters back to back — we haven’t seen that in a long time,” said George A. Leshkevich, who tracks the ice for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. “All the lakes seem pretty brutal.”
The article goes on to describe the trials that businesses dependent on Great Lakes shipping are having to endure.
Thanks to Terry Pack, Icelord and Javk Hydrazine for this link