Ice slows business, traffic on Northeast, Midwest waterways

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Ice slows business, traffic on Northeast, Midwest waterways
Ice forms along the shore on Lake Michigan, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Chicago. Temperatures have dipped to as low as -13 in parts of Illinois with wind chills forecast to fall to between 20 and 30 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
The sun rises above Lake Michigan as ice forms along the shore, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Chicago. Temperatures have dipped to as low as -13 in parts of Illinois with wind chills forecast to fall to between 20 and 30 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Chicago. Temperatures have dipped to as low as -13 in parts of Illinois with wind chills forecast to fall to between 20 and 30 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Will Scott uses a blower to remove snow from a parking lot Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Nolensville, Tenn. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency says the state remains in a state of emergency as it deals with more snow, subfreezing temperatures and slick roads. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Ice forms along the shore on Lake Michigan, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Chicago. Temperatures have dipped to as low as -13 in parts of Illinois with wind chills forecast to fall to between 20 and 30 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Children sled together on the slope on the southwest grounds of the US Capitol after a winter storm, on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 in Washington. US Capitol Police officers later told parents and kids that sledding was prohibited on the US Capitol grounds. Rules implemented after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks made sledding on the Capitol grounds off limits to residents who try to take advantage of snowy weather. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Bennett Foster shovels ice out of a driveway Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
CAMBRIDGE, MA - JANUARY 27: Snow covers a car on January 27, 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Boston, and much of the Northeast, is being hit with heavy snow from Winter Storm Juno. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: A plaw moves down a snow covered street on February 2, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Another winter storm has brought inclement weather to much of the Northeast, canceling schools and hundreds of flights throughout the area. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Airplanes stand in the snow at O'Hare International Airport on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Chicago. A slow-moving winter storm blanketed a large swath of the Plains and Midwest in snow Sunday, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights, making roads treacherous and forcing some people to rethink their plans to attend Super Bowl parties. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A woman shields her face from the wind-driven snow while making her through a winter storm in downtown Portland, Maine, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
A driver cleans snow off school buses in Derry, N.H., Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Southern New Hampshire, which was hit with over two feet of snow last week, is expected to receive as much as another foot and a half in a winter storm that stretches from Michigan to Maine. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
NEW YORK NY - FEBRUARY 02: Michael Musto rides his bike through the snow in Soho on February 02, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: Cars drive at slow speed during a snow storm in Manhattan, New York City on February 02, 2014. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: Cars drive at slow speed during a snow storm in Manhattan, New York City on February 02, 2014. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Toby Hirshman holds onto Macy as Wally runs in the fresh snow, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. A winter snow storm has dumped at least a foot of snow in parts of northern Ohio and prompted driving bans and hundreds of school and business closings. Seven counties in northwest Ohio were under Level 3 snow emergencies Monday, closing roadways to non-emergency vehicles. Another six counties in north central and northeast Ohio were also under less severe snow emergencies. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: A man rides a bicycle on a snowy and icy Manhattan street on February 2, 2015 in New York City. Another winter storm has brought inclement weather to much of the Northeast, canceling schools and hundreds of flights throughout the area. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: Pedestrians navigate the snow, ice and puddles along a Manhattan street on February 2, 2015 in New York City. Another winter storm has brought inclement weather to much of the Northeast, canceling schools and hundreds of flights throughout the area. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: A teen looks out of a Brooklyn subway window during a storm bringing a wintery mix of snow and ice to New York City on February 2, 2015 in New York City. Another winter storm has brought inclement weather to much of the Northeast, canceling schools and hundreds of flights throughout the New York metro area. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: People walk during a snow storm in Manhattan, New York City on February 02, 2014. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: People walk during a snow storm in Manhattan, New York City on February 02, 2014. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Airplanes stand in the snow at O'Hare International Airport on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Chicago. A slow-moving winter storm blanketed a large swath of the Plains and Midwest in snow Sunday, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights, making roads treacherous and forcing some people to rethink their plans to attend Super Bowl parties. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A plow clears snow on I-295 during a winter storm Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Yarmouth, Maine. Heavy snow is pummeling much of Maine as a new round of winter weather immobilizes parts of the state for another day. Monday's storm is expected to drop more than 14 additional inches on the Downeast part of the state. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Drivers on I-295 contend with near-whiteout conditions while driving in a snow storm Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Yarmouth, Maine. Heavy snow is pummeling much of Maine as a new round of winter weather immobilizes parts of the state for another day. Monday's storm is expected to drop more than 14 additional inches on the Downeast part of the state. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Traffic is backed up from a vehicle off Interstate 94 in Harper Woods, Mich., Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. A winter storm has buried Michigan's Lower Peninsula in snow, giving the Detroit area its biggest snowfall in four decades. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Richard King snowshoes down Adams Pond Road in East Derry, N.H., Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Southern New Hampshire, which was hit with over two feet of snow last week, is expected to receive as much as another foot and a half in a winter storm that stretches from Michigan to Maine. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Krystal Koban removes snow from around her car during a winter storm, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Henniker, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Marcus Neris digs his car out of the snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Marcus Neris digs his car out of the snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: A man walks through Humboldt Park on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: A residents clears snow from a car on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Brittany OBerien (L) and Jessica Moser (R) dig their car out from the snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city yesterday morning and did not stop until this morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Residents dig their cars out from the the snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Residents try to free a stranded car after it became stuck in the snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Brittany OBerien (L) and Jessica Moser (R) dig their car out of snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city yesterday morning and did not stop until this morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Residents try to free a stranded car after it became stuck in snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Cars are burined in snow along a residential street on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: A man clears snow from the sidewalk in front of an aprtment building on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: Residents dig their cars out from the snow on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 02: A dog plays in the snow in Humboldt Park on February 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Snow began falling in the city Sunday morning and did not stop until early Monday morning, leaving behind 18 inches. It was the fifth largest snowfall in the city's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 01: Aryn Sothbarr clears snow from the sidewalk outside her home on February 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Fifteen inches or more of snow is expected to fall on the city before Monday morning. The snow has caused power outages and forced about 2,000 flight cancelations at the city's airports. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 01: A man digs out his car along a snow-covered street on February 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Fifteen inches or more of snow is expected to fall on the city before Monday morning. The snow has caused power outages and forced about 2,000 flight cancelations at the city's airports. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 01: A man walks down a snow-covered street on February 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Fifteen inches or more of snow is expected to fall on the city before Monday morning. The snow has caused power outages and forced about 2,000 flight cancelations at the city's airports. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 01: A cyclist takes cover from the snow on February 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Fifteen inches or more of snow is expected to fall on the city before Monday morning. The snow has caused power outages and forced about 2,000 flight cancelations at the city's airports. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 01: Pedestrian and motorists navigate a snow-covered street on February 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Fifteen inches or more of snow is expected to fall on the city before Monday morning. The snow has caused power outages and forced about 2,000 flight cancelations at the city's airports. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 01: Passengers walk through snow to catch an L train on February 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Fifteen inches or more of snow is expected to fall on the city before Monday morning. The snow has caused power outages and forced about 2,000 flight cancelations at the city's airports. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 01: Drew Maurer clears snow from the sidewalk outside his home on February 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Fifteen inches or more of snow is expected to fall on the city before Monday morning. The snow has caused power outages and forced about 2,000 flight cancelations at the city's airports. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Snow covers trees at O'Hare International Airport, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Chicago. The first major winter storm of the year is bearing down on the Chicago region, bringing with it blizzard conditions of heavy snow and strong winds. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
O'Hare International Airport crews work on a runway at the airport, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Chicago. The first major winter storm of the year is bearing down on the Chicago region, bringing with it blizzard conditions of heavy snow and strong winds. More than 1,100 flights have been canceled at Chicago's airports and snow-covered roads are making travel treacherous. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Cars are covered by snow in general parking lot at O'Hare International Airport on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Chicago. A slow-moving winter storm blanketed a large swath of the Plains and Midwest in snow Sunday, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights, making roads treacherous and forcing some people to rethink their plans to attend Super Bowl parties. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Waterways around the Northeast and the Midwest are beset by ice more than a foot thick in some places, making life miserable for people who make their living on the water.

Portland resident Scott Werner said this winter has been "a horror show" for him and other lobster fishermen. He said the ice has prevented him from getting his boat out to fish in recent weeks, cutting into his ability to make money in the already slow winter lobster season.

"I'm not going to risk it. I don't want to break anything," Werner said. "It's been brutal, but what are you going to do?"

Iced waterways are a problem in other Northeast locations, such as off Boston, where a commuter ferry carrying more than 100 passengers got delayed by about 45 minutes by the coastal ice pack on Feb. 20. A blanket of thick ice also has spread across the Great Lakes for the second consecutive winter, posing hardships for shippers and crews aboard Coast Guard icebreaking vessels but creating spectacular scenery along shorelines.

In New York, the Coast Guard is cutting ice on the Hudson River so barges carrying heating oil, gasoline and jet fuel can reach their destinations. The thickest ice is in the area of Germantown and Hudson, north of New York City. In some spots the ice is a foot and a half thick, Coast Guard officials said.

"The barges traveling from New York City to Albany have the most difficult time transiting through that one area, so that's where the Coast Guard is devoting its effort to keep clean," Coast Guard Lt. Ken Sauerbrunn said.

As of Sunday night on the Great Lakes, 88.3 percent of the inland seas' surface area had frozen, according to the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The ice cover topped out at 92.2 percent last winter, narrowly missing the record of 94.7 percent set in 1979.

It was the coldest February on record in Portland, according to National Weather Service records that go back to 1940. The frigid temperatures froze more than 10 lobster fishing boats in ice off Portland, said Bill Needelman, the city's waterfront coordinator. Fewer fishermen have been able to pursue key food fish such as haddock and pollock, which has cut into landings at the city's fish pier and lessened activity at the Portland Fish Exchange auction, he said.

The ice also is causing damage to piers and could contribute to erosion, Needelman said. He said this year's ice likely will take a heavy toll on waterfront infrastructure in the city.

"It's a highly destructive force, and we can anticipate that there will be a lot of maintenance needs and repair needs," he said.

The Coast Guard experienced two weeks in February when its ice-cutting tug, Shackle, was out cutting ice every day, Chief Warrant Officer Bob Albert said. Cutting was needed in Portland Harbor, the Fore River and parts of Casco Bay to allow for petroleum deliveries and for commuter ferries and fishing vessels to traverse the waterways, he said.

"The demand for ice breaking this year has exceeded any demands that have been placed on the Coast Guard at any time in the last 10 years," Albert said.

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