Frozen locks halt six ships near Kahnawake
Vessels should be moving within the day and were stationed there for shelter, Seaway says
Residents of Sainte-Catherine and Kahnawake may have noticed an unusually high number of ships lined up at the locks on the St. Lawrence River between the town and territory today.
The locks, which help boats navigate the narrower part of the river, were unable to open due to the cold snap the area has experienced in the past week, according to Saint-Lawrence Seaway spokesperson Andrew Bogora.
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As a result, six boats were harboured in the canal near the Côte Ste-Catherine locks, which were scheduled to close for the winter at 3 p.m. today.
"The bout of cold weather we've had is unusual and it's simply been quite a challenge in the midst of this cold snap," Bogora said.
He added the vessels should be moving "within the next day or so," and that they were stationed in the canal near the locks to be sheltered from more adverse weather conditions.
"We don't want anyone to be under the mistaken notion that there's some kind of unusual risk present," he said.
In the meantime, Seaway employees are keeping in contact with the Coast Guard, and scraping the ice buildup off the lock walls and gates, Bogora said.
With the weather influencing this final set of vessels passing through the locks, their closing has been pushed back until further notice, Bogora said.
The locks usually remain closed until near the end of March.
With files from Verity Stevenson and Claire Loewen