Unusually cold weather has disrupted most shipping and navigation on Canada's St. Lawrence River and?
Unusually cold weather has disrupted most shipping and navigation on Canada's St. Lawrence River and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The cold spell has caused a huge ice jam on the river near Quebec City and ice conditions in the Gulf are the worst in nine years.
SYNOPSIS: The ice jam on the St. Lawrence began last week after a severe snowstorm. The river narrows under the bridges near Quebec and ice jams there are not unusual.
However, a combination of low temperatures and exceptionally strong winds formed the thickest ice layer in recent memory on Sunday (23 January).
Five icebreakers are working in the area and on Sunday afternoon they made a two-mile breach in the ice. Then, as soon as the tide changed, an ice bank -- 10 miles (16 kms) long--began to move down river. But just as things started to move again another jam of five miles (8 kms) in length was reported up river near Portneuf Two icebreakers are currently working on this jam, while the other three are trying to ensure that no further jams form downstream.
Twenty ships have been stuck in the ice since last week and all navigation and shipping has been curtailed.