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Neebish island residents trapped by ice

FLickr user John Tolva

Ice jams in the shipping channels between Lake Superior and Lake Huron are blocking ferry service to Neebish Island. The 40 year round island residents are finding themselves stranded from the mainland.

Neebish Island ferry operators said it’s not uncommon for ice to jam the channel, but in the last couple of years they say, mild winters have been kind.

Pete Paramski is the Director of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority, which operates the ferry. He said the Coast Guard has had icebreakers north of the West Neebish channel working since the end of March.

“As a matter of fact they’ve worked one shift right through the night. There’s been multiple cutters and they have been unable to make much progress due to the unbelievable rash ice coming down river”.

Paramski said the Coast Guard is standing by with an air boat in case of emergencies to assist people, but island residents usually prepare for this down time in the spring.