abc
QUICK LINKS:

After Record Winter, US Coast Guard Concludes Nation's Largest Ice-Breaking Operation

Updated: 05/15/2014 10:59 PM
Created: 05/15/2014 10:55 PM WDIO.com

On Thursday, the US Coast Guard says it concluded its ice-cutting mission in the Sault St. Marie sector, which includes Lake Superior.

The brutal winter left the shipping routes choked with ice across the Great Lakes.

Nine US and three Canadian cutters had been leading the way for ships from December 6 until Thursday, May 15. The mission, called Operation Taconite, lasted 160 days. 

During that operation the Coast Guard says an estimated 33 million tons of dry bulk and liquid cargoes were shipped.

In a statement, they said that although "official statistics have not been released, it is reported the 2013-14 season produced the thickest and most expansive ice cover the Great Lakes has experienced in 35 years."

They released the following examples:

  • In February 2014, the Motor Tanker Algocanada's up bound transit of the St Marys River, escorted by USCGC Katmai Bay, took eight days to complete. Under normal ice conditions, an up bound movement is executed in 12 hours. 
  • In March 2014, the first west bound crossing of the Straits of Mackinac took four days. The crossing featured the Joyce L. Van Ekenvort with the barge Great Lakes Trader. The tug is the most powerful tug in the Great Lakes.  It was escorted by USCGC Mackinaw, the U.S. Coast Guard's most powerful ice breaker in the Great Lakes. Under normal conditions the voyage would be completed in 12 hours. 
  • The first east bound crossing of Lake Superior (Duluth to the Soo Locks), facilitated by USCGC Mackinaw took nine days (March 26 to April 4) to complete. Under normal ice conditions, the typical crossing would take 24 hours to complete. 
  • The first load of iron ore (Two Harbors, to Gary Harbor, Ind.) took 13 days to deliver. This is normally a three day voyage.

Front Page

  • MN Congressional Delegation and Lt. Gov. Meet at White House About Steel Imports

    Minnesota's federal lawmakers met with officials at the White House on Friday, to press their case about the problem of steel imports.

  • Gogebic Taconite Withdraws Wisconsin Application

    The state Department of Natural Resources says a company that was looking to open a huge iron mine in northern Wisconsin has officially withdrawn its plans. Gogebic Taconite was considering digging a 4½-mile long mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior but announced last month it was closing its office in Hurley and future investment in the project wasn't feasible.

  • Girls-Only Shop Class Aims to Narrow Industry Gender Gaps

    More women are now pursuing STEM fields, but there's still huge gender gaps in industries like manufacturing, machining and carpentry. a girls-only shop class at one Northland high school might be a way to change that.

  • Up, Up, and Away: Rare View of Duluth from Hot Air Balloon

    Duluth residents were treated to a fairly rare sight over the city on Friday afternoon: two hot air balloons. The pair took off from Bayfront Festival Park around 4:15 p.m. as an effort to drum up excitement about this year's hot air balloon festival in September.

  • FEMA Awards Grant to Lake County to Mitigate Structure Fires

    FEMA has awarded Lake County, Minnesota over $500,000 in a grant for the addition of metal roofing to 65 residential and commercial structures. Construction on some of the buildings can start as soon as the roofing season in northeastern Minnesota begins.

 
Advertisement