Last laker of the season arrives in Port of Duluth

If the last two weeks of frigid cold in northern Minnesota wasn’t enough, we can now remark that *real* winter has arrived. The final laker of the season arrives in the Port of Duluth this morning.

From the Duluth Seaway Port Authority:

Duluth, Minn.,USA — The US-flag laker, John G. Munson, is currently sitting at anchor just outside the Duluth Ship Canal. The vessel is scheduled to sail into the Port of Duluth-Superior tomorrow  morning (Friday, Jan. 25) for winter layup.

Her arrival will officially wrap up the 2012 commercial shipping season in the Port of Duluth-Superior. Though the Soo Locks (at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), closed at midnight on January 15, the Munson was able to make a handful of late season deliveries of iron ore across the eastern tip of Lake Superior.

U.S. Coast Guard cutter ALDER is in transit, expected to arrive in the Twin Ports sometime after sunrise to assist with ice breaking in the harbor already underway with tugs from Heritage Marine. After passing beneath the Aerial Bridge, the Munson will fuel at the Port Terminal prior to moving, with tug assistance, to Fraser Shipyards.

Final tonnage totals will be released soon, but it appears that the Port of Duluth-Superior will wind up the 2012 season just shy of 37 million short tons, according to Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

The Soo Locks are scheduled to reopen on March 25 for the start of the 2013 shipping season.

Photo: Robert Welton / courtesy Duluth Seaway Port Authority

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