Sub-zero temperatures froze the Lachine canal, lifeline from the Great Lakes to Montreal, and other stretches of the St.
Sub-zero temperatures froze the Lachine canal, lifeline from the Great Lakes to Montreal, and other stretches of the St. Lawrence, Dec. Along the nine mile canal shipping inched forward, stern to bow. Lock gate gear has seized up and only a thaw can save shipping trapped in the area, despite round-the-clock efforts with ice-breakers, tugs, steam pipes and steel-tipped 20 feet long poles.
This is the Lachine canal's last season as a major waterway before it's superceded by the more efficient St. Lawrence Seaway. The canal is going down fighting. At one period more than 30 freighters were trapped or in danger being frozen in for the winter.
Montreal harbour traffic has been throttled. Nineteen ships are in the grip of the ice and another eleven are ice-bound in the stretch between Montreal and Sorel. Ice-breakers are trying to smash an escape channel.
Fuel is being flown to the stricken ships in Montreal harbour by helicopter. And at Sarnia, 1,500 tons of cargo on a freighter bound for the Lakehead were off loaded and sent by rail.
That's the position at present -- mariners and shoremen working furiously to clear the rapidly freezing water of shipping.