The U.S. Coast Guard's Alder breaks up ice in Thunder Bay Thursday morning.
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Cold weather means a busy time for the harbour.
With colder than normal temperatures settling in the bay since the end of November, Thunder Bay Port Authority engineering director Guy Jarvis said ice around the port is the worst its been since 1988.
With an estimated 15 inches of ice over the lake, he said everyday its' growing up to three inches.
Canada Coast Guard's Samuel Risley usually comes in to help local tugs break the ice. But it has been called to help in Sault Ste. Marie, which has led to the U.S. Coast Guard's Alder coming to Thunder Bay from Duluth to help.
"It's been very very active in our port," Jarvis said.
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Ice is usually broken up once a week to get ships in and out of Thunder Bay before the Soo Locks close Jan. 15 and shipping season stops until March.
But if the cold continues, the Alder will most likely have to break the ice in Thunder Bay several times a week, traveling back and forth between here and Duluth.
Up and down the St. Lawrence Seaway icebreakers are needed, which is unusual Jarvis said.
"Everywhere has had bad weather," he said.
There are currently four ships in the bay waiting for the Alder to finish up Thursday. Jarvis said they'll be able to load up and head out Friday morning.
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