Frigid temperatures have lakers playing waiting game as shipping - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Frigid temperatures have lakers playing waiting game as shipping season closes

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DULUTH, MN -

A unique sight, many of us spent the first few days of the new year counting the more than half dozen lakers outside the harbor.

According to Aerial Lift Bridge Supervisor Dave Campbell, on Tuesday morning there were nine ships anchored in our neck of the lake.

"We sort've turned the place into a parking lot, but they're waiting to go into load taconite in Superior or possibly go up to Two Harbors and load up there," he said.

Campbell said the big hold up is the weather.

"When it gets really cold like we have been, the docks, it takes them longer to load," he said. "The docks run into more problems because of the cold weather. They gotta thaw things out and get it running again."

But Tuesday morning, one of the nine was on the move. 

We caught "Thunder Bay" as it was coming under the bridge.

We joined dozens of spectators including Marnie Kollander, who said she rushed down with her out-of-townee to show off a unique Duluth sight.

"We were down the street and we heard the siren go off, try and just catch it as much as we could," she said.

Thunder Bay was on its way to dock in Duluth, dropping off a shipment of salt before heading back out to pick up more cargo in Two Harbors.

"So he'll go back out and sit with everybody else until it's his turn to load," Campbell said.

A short break from the waiting game, but with the Soo Locks closing in less than two weeks, just like these other lakers, Thunder Bay's days on open water are numbered.

"They're gonna have to leave here by you know on the 14th or maybe even the 13th because if they run into bad weather or ice, it's possible they'll be stuck on this side," he said.

So while it may look still, we're witnessing the lakers' rush to complete their deliveries before the locks, and the bridge, close for the season.

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