Winter Storm Grayson

The east coast of North America from Florida to Canada and including the Great Lakes were affected by the severe winter storm named Grayson that struck on the first week of January.

The east coast of North America from Florida to Canada and including the Great Lakes were affected by the severe winter storm named Grayson that struck on the first week of January. Ports, shipping lines and agents were warned in advance of the approaching storm and advised to take precautions.

The US National Weather Service issued a coastal winter storm warning with high winds and dangerously cold temperatures and warned of a ‘bomb cyclone’ with snow, rain and strong winds. The US Coast Guard advised all self-propelled ocean-going vessels over 5,000gt and all barges and their supporting tugs to remain in port. The shipping season in the Great Lakes was due to end on Jan 15 but the icebreaking cutters Neah Bay and Morro Bay, of the US Coast Guard, had to to free four Great Lakes bulk carriers stuck in ice.

The John J Boland, 33,438dwt, became stuck in western Lake Erie on Jan 1 and was freed by the Morro Bay at about 0845 on Jan 3 and the Hon Paul J Martin, 35,429dwt, was trapped by ice on Jan 2 in the same area and was also freed by the Morro Bay. The James R Barker, 61,564dwt, was also trapped in the same area on Jan 2 but was broken out by the tug Calusa Coast, 302grt, but she became trapped again and was freed by the Morro Bay. The Indiana Harbor, 82,309dwt, was caught in ice on Jan 2 in the Middle Channel of the St Clair River and was freed by the Neah Bay.

On Jan 4, the US Coast Guard said ice coverage on Lake Erie was more than 20 per cent, well above the seasonal average of five per cent for this time of the year.

At 1400 on Jan 3, as the ‘bomb cyclone’ passed west of the Bahamas, the cruise ship Grand Celebration, 47,262gt, of the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, broke her moorings at Freeport in the high winds and was blown against a quay. She was moved by harbour tugs to a safe berth by 1500.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - March 2018 Issue
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