Marine Atlantic dealing with backlog of traffic

Marine Atlantic is trying to clear up a backlog of commercial traffic destined for Newfoundland, although the weather on Thursday continued to cause troubles for the ferry service.

The Crown corporation said Thursday morning that its ferries had moved about 270 trucks and trailers in the preceding 36 hours. A hundred more were still in North Sydney, waiting to make the crossing.

High winds have kept the ships in port for much of this week.

Communications officer Darrell Mercer said it's difficult to get caught up.

"Seems like the weather systems are coming in every few days," said Mercer.

"Very high winds, sea states are very heavy, so it's been challenging for us especially when you're trying to transport all the commercial traffic trying to get to the island. So we're trying our best in very challenging times and will continue to do so."

Mercer warned of another problem.

"Tonight we're looking at another system that's going to be moving in," said Mercer.

"The only positive piece with that is it looks like it's going to be a fast-moving system. So, hopefully there won't be a big impact, but of course we're constantly monitoring the weather forecast and [again] this weekend there may be another system."

In fact, Thursday's weather has already affected service – the ferry departure from Port aux Basques at 11:45 was cancelled.

Mercer said he doesn't know how many ferry crossings have been cancelled this winter, but with one or two storms a week —he said it's been one of the hardest winters that the Crown corporation has seen in years.

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