Coast Guard boats break river ice to keep supply lines open for New York

New York is enduring a prolonged winter snap of biting wind and freezing temperatures which has seen the worst freezing of the Hudson River in over a decade.

A ferry makes its way through ice in New York yesterday

A ferry makes its way through ice in New York yesterday Image by (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The plunging mercury has led to nine boats from the US Coast Guard using their vessels to cut pathways through the 18 inch thick river ice so that crucial supplies can be delivered into the city. The Coast Guard say up to 300 vessels journey up and down the Hudson River during winter as they ferry over ten million barrels of petroleum products to Northeast communities.

The Daily Mail reports that three-quarters of the country’s heating oil is carried in through New York, New England and New Jersey while barges deliver all but ten percent of the oil. The commanding officer of the Sturgeon Bay, Lt. Ken Sauerbrunn, claims that this winter was the worst since 2004, which was the last time that Coast Guard boats were used to the break ice to allow the Staten Island Ferry to operate. The New York Times reports that the Sturgeon bay’s weight of 662 tons is specially designed to break ice.

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