Great Lakes Shipping Affected by Sandy

By KBJR News 1

Great Lakes Shipping Affected by Sandy

October 29, 2012 Updated Oct 29, 2012 at 9:30 PM CDT

DULUTH,MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - While Sandy may be wreaking havoc on the east coast, the storm won't be letting the Great Lakes get away unscathed.

Most of the Great Lakes could get some very large waves.

The facilities manager for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority says for the four lower great lakes, the National Weather Service on Monday afternoon was predicting hurricane force winds and in some places up to 30 foot waves overnight.

He says Lake Superior, on the other hand, should fine because of a high pressure system lingering over the lake keeping the storm away and keeping ship traffic moving.

However, when ships leave the Duluth-Superior harbor, he believes they may have to drop anchor and wait to cross through Sault Ste Marie.

As for the lower Great Lakes, he thinks shipping could almost cease.

"It's possible that there may be a salt water ship or two that decide to cross the Lake in these kinds of wind conditions. I wouldn't expect any of the lakers to do that there are built to different strength standards," said Jim Sharrow, facilities manager for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

He says the ocean ships are built to withstand stronger storms than ships staying within the Great Lakes region.

Ultimately, it's the captain of each ship who decides whether to continue on or to drop anchor.

Sharrow says delays in shipping are common, especially during the Fall season, so it may not cause any significant economic impact, however, he says end of the year reports will show whether there were any blips from the storm.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike