North

Warm weather forces ice road closure

An ice road in the Northwest Territories that's used to supply two operating diamond mines has been shut down since Sunday because of thinning ice under a small lake along the route.

An ice road in the Northwest Territories that's used to supply two operating diamond mines has been shut down since Sunday because of thinning ice under a small lake along the route.

Diavik mine spokesperson Tom Hoefer says the unseasonably warm weather makes it impossible to know if or when the road might reopen.

"We're putting out a message to tell people to look at critical loads at this point because warm weather like this is telling us something about spring," says Hoefer.

"Should the road have to close early, the best bet is that everybody gets their critical loads up early."

He says fuel is considered a critical load.

The two mines use the ice road to ship supplies for the entire year. Although some items can be flown in, that's more expensive than trucking.

The closure has left hundreds of truck drivers waiting on the sidelines.

Trucker Jack White says the drivers are in the dark about what's happening and are wondering if the road will even open again this season.

"Cause we don't know whether we're just going to call her quits or if they want us to stay until maybe it'll get colder," says White. "We're just kind of in limbo right now."

Some drivers say they're losing up to $1,000 a day, adding earlier closures this winter have already cut into their profits.

An official overseeing road maintenance says the weather will ultimately determine whether the road opens again.

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