This year’s shipping season is getting off to a slow start due to record levels of ice on the Great Lakes after an extremely cold winter. Some ice on Lake Superior is still several feet thick, and ice breakers are working to carve paths for ships. Jim Sharrow with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority says that even with the help, several fleets have delayed their first sailing until early April.
More than two weeks later than usual, the first up-bound tow has broken through the ice at Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River.
Another sign of our early spring? The opening of the navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River.
A Coast Guard cutter has started breaking the ice in the Twin Ports harbor in preparation for the 2011 shipping season.