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UPDATE: Coast Guard begins ice breaking on Lake Superior

UPDATED Saturday, March 8, 2014 --- 2014

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) -- The U.S. Coast Guard is beginning to break the ice on Lake Superior and officials say the process will be difficult this year.

The director of the Coast Guard's Vessel Traffic Services, Mark Gill, says it's the most ice he's seen on the lake in 25 years. Gill says the record-setting cold winter has ice exceeding 42 inches on the Superior side of the harbor and up to 36 inches of plate ice on the Duluth, Minn. side.

Gills tells Wisconsin Public Radio that they'll use commercial tugs to help get boats moving by March 17.

He says the "lakers" are already asking for help to leave the harbor later this month. The Soo Locks are set to open March 25.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 ---7:22 p.m.

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) -- Ships using Lake Superior are having a tough time due to the worst build up of ice in decades.

Wisconsin Public Radio News reports (http://bit.ly/1aaYocK ) the National Weather Service started tracking freeze-ups in 1978, and says this is the second-fastest and thickest ice-up in 35 years. Coast Guard Soo Vessel Traffic Director Mark Gill says this is the worst since 1989.

On Friday, the Coast Guard said traffic was halted the four days before for several hours each day.

Gill says a trip from Duluth, Minn. to Gary, Ind. that normally would take three days now takes six to seven.

Gill says many ships on the Great Lakes are tying up early for the winter. The Soo Locks close Wednesday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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