Superstorm Sandy slows shipping on Great Lakes

October 31, 2012

Scott Kanowsky

flickr/mic stolz
Shipping industry sources said Tuesday high winds and large waves slowed shipping across the Great Lakes.

Remnants of Hurricane Sandy stirred swells as big as 25 feet in Lake Michigan on Tuesday, slowing shipping across some of the Great Lakes, according to shipping industry sources.

U.S. Coast Guard officials in the Chicago area said Tuesday there are no restrictions being placed on shipping. However, choppy conditions have forced many shipping vessels to drop anchor, according to boat captain David Moser.

Moser said Tuesday he was anchored in northern Lake Huron, but he knows a captain on Lake Michigan trying to get to Gary, Indiana.

“He just does not dare go down to the southern end of Lake Michigan and he will probably be in the worst place you could possibly go with this much north wind. He’s just going to have to wait,” Moser said in a phone interview.

Glen Nekvasil is with the Lake Carriers Association, which he said represents boats carrying iron ore to steel mills in the Chicago area.

He says delays are normal this time of year – but he’s still worried.

“If this proved to be a lengthy, lengthy period of time, it would impact our ability to make our tonnage commitments for the year,” Nekvasil said in a phone interview. He said he could not quantify the cost of the delays.

Moser said he and other boat captains would not try to battle dangerous conditions.

“We couldn’t do it. You’d be putting yourself in big danger if you did,” he said.