Ice Stalls Freighters in Whitefish Bay

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As far as the eye can see, there is ice thicker than two feet from the Soo to Whitefish Point.

That ice has been stopping freighters in their tracks.

Since the Soo Locks opened on March 25, several freighters have become stuck in the ice in Whitefish Bay for hours on end.

The U.S. Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie has been sending ice cutters to clear the shipping lane.

But Wednesday afternoon, the Coast Guard shut down operations until early this afternoon due to the ice buildup in Whitefish Bay.

Strong northwest winds Wednesday pushed the ice into Whitefish Bay.

Pictures from the the lake freighter M.V. Saginaw show the cutters slicing through the ice so traffic can start moving again.

Coast Guard member Sean Murphy says ice breakers and crews train for this every year.

“The Coast Guard is there to help facilitate any reasonable request to get through that ice and get going and to get commerce moving,” he says.

It’s not only Whitefish Bay that has the ice.

The ice in the southern end of the St. Marys River and the Straits of Mackinac also stopped traffic at times.