Skip to comments.Early ice causing probs on Lake Michigan - earnest Icebreaking; New Year's Eve cruise canceled
Posted on 12/19/2013 1:43:16 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Low temperatures in recent weeks have quickened the annual chill of Lake Michigan, growing sheets of ice a month earlier than usual, disrupting holiday plans for local cruise lines and bringing winter chores for harbor masters and industrial shippers.
The early pockets of ice have prompted one Chicago cruise line to cancel its New Year's Eve fireworks cruise for the first time in five years. The company that manages harbors on the lakefront has started efforts to protect their docks from ice. And in the northern part of Lake Michigan, the Coast Guard has been busy breaking through ice, making sure shipping crews can make their scheduled deliveries.
As of Monday, more than 13 percent of Lake Michigan was covered by ice, compared with its icelessness this time last year, said George Leshkevich, a physical scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Over the past five years, the average ice coverage on Lake Michigan around this time of year was closer to 2 percent, according to laboratory data.
In fact, it was not until Jan. 22 this year that ice cover compared with the amount on the lake now. The laboratory predicts that up to 62 percent of the Great Lakes will be frozen over this winter, above the long-term average of 55 percent.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Snow removal in November and December has cost $4.6 million, bringing the total for the year to $14.37 million, according to Streets and Sanitation Department officials. The city set aside $16.3 million for snow removal in 2013, leaving about $2 million to get through the rest of the month.
That money can get eaten up fast once the flakes start coming down: $1.06 million has been spent since Nov. 1 on overtime for plow drivers and other city workers responding to snowfalls and $736,000 has been spent on fuel and equipment. And the city used $3.5 million worth of salt and beet juice during that time to de-ice roads......."
Beet juice de-icer could be bad for environment ---- [but "of course!"]
"COEUR D'ALENE -- Once again this winter Coeur d'Alene will use beet juice to help de-ice city streets. It's the second year for this unique material. But even though it is cheaper, it may also be harmful.
Beet juice and other de-icing products have been on the radar of Idaho's Department of Environmental Quality for several years. Their concern is the after effects on fish and plant life. But they still don't know just how bad it could be.
Last March, a DEQ scientist took KREM to Cedar Creek, which is west of Coeur d'Alene along Interstate 90. It is where during the scientist's research, the water smelled like soap, likely from de-icing products.
"That gave us some concern about water quality and the impacts potentially to streams close to roads," said Dept. of Environmental Quality scientist Tom Herron.
That research will continue through next year. But there is another new and unknown issue, beet juice. While beet juice is cheaper to use, it is also loaded with phosphorus, thousands of times higher than normal levels. That takes away oxygen from organisms that live in the water.
"Depending on the dilution that occurs, with beet juice and storm runoff and the amount of precipitation, there is potentially some impact to water quality," said Herron.
Despite those concerns, the city recently bought another large supply of juice for the winter. Herron sees no problem with that since the research is far from complete. Herron has had early talks with city officials about the beet juice and its possible effects. But the state has had to roll back some of its research due to budget cuts."
We’re all gonna die!
It can't be anything but global warming, can it? (not)
So it also happened five years ago? OH NOES!!!
No fair! We must have underwater bubbles around our "docs" too. And ours will be wind turbine powered. Having the government spend more taxpayer money will stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment. </s>
Never ceases to amaze me how northern midwest cities never budget properly for wintertime weather events. One or two episodes and the hand wringing begins. Growing up in Detroit, I remember when the streets and the SIDEWALKS were plowed.
Sad thing is that some of those nuts will actually tell you that. The greenies have lost their damn minds. A lady in the office gave me crap about all the paper in my trash can. I mean, I recycle all the bulk flat stuff, but she was talking about my used napkins, window envelopes with plastic, etc. I looked at her and said “well I put my trash out at 4:30 every day...feel free to paw through it and pick out whatever you want.”
Temps have been running 10-15 deg. cooler than “average” in western VA. Finally, this weekend, we’re getting some “above average” temps.
a natural, 30 year warming trend along with the focus on global warming probably led these cities to trim (or not increase enough) their snow removal budgets in recent years. Now that the trend is reversing...
Plenty of beans and sweet potatoes will make the “doc” emit his own compressed air bubbles.
global warming is a hoax
industry (CO2) has been growing for the past 300 years
AND there has been NO corresponding warming, NO sea level rises from melting ice caps (as al gore predicted 5 years ago the North pole would be ice free by this year).