Thick ice could affect Maritime Electric work in the Northumberland Strait

Thick ice could affect Maritime Electric work in the Northumberland Strait

The Canadian Coast Guard is keeping an eye on a large ship burying 3,500 tonnes of cables for Maritime Electric in the Northumberland Strait.

The ship is on a potential collision course with abnormally thick ice that could hamper its work.

"It definitely could potentially cause a problem for them," said Rebecca Acton-Bond, the Coast Guard's acting superintendent of ice operations for the Atlantic region.

The concern is that southerly winds could push the unusually thick ice off the north shore into the strait.

"The winds are supposed to change to a southerly direction for the next number of days and there is a lot of ice packed on the south shore in the Northumberland Strait, so that's definitely going to move up into the area that they're working," said Acton-Bond.

She added that the ship — the Isaac Newton — might have to suspend work as a result. 

A Maritime Electric spokesperson says the situation is being monitored and weather delays have been accounted for in the project.

"We are watching the ice very carefully and currently have been able to work around it," said Kim Griffin, manager of corporate communications and public affairs, via email. "We have also built in five days of potential weather delays into the calendar anticipating problems."

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