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Ohio River Freezing...

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Wow, it's been a while since I was around here…got busy with work, the Army, etc., etc.  Anyway, when I saw the ice on the river this morning, the first thing I thought was that I needed to post some shots on UrbanOhio!

 

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Not as bad as upriver a ways - some barges are already getting blocked up between Marietta and Wheeling:

http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/556691/Ice-challenges-Ohio-River-traffic.html?nav=5002

 

I'm assuming the rising temperatures will keep it from repeating 1976/1977, but it's something interesting to see while it lasts!  I've read stories about that winter, and it was really awful - coal barges couldn't get through the Mississippi or Ohio, schools were closed for a month, only essential workers were able to work in 50 degree offices - as fun as it would be to walk to KY on the river, it was a terrible time...

 

 

…finally, one extra shot from this morning - the moon and some planet, not sure which one!

 

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Welcome back, Riverviewer!

 

Funny thing is that I heard that the river was frozen, and I thought to myself, "Riverviewer would like this, but he hasn't been on UO in years."

 

That planet is Venus. I saw the same sight, but didn't have time to get a photo.

 

 

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RiverViewer...?!?!?  Talk about a morning surprise!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Yeah, it's been a while...I went back to check, and I guess my last post was in 2009 before I went to Iraq - almost five years now!  I've kept up some with Randy's blog and the UrbanCincy podcast, but I've missed out on a lot!  I'll definitely need to spend more time here again...

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Interesting photos... how do they keep the barges moving in river conditions like this?  In '77 the river froze solid and power plants were worried about their coal supply because all barge movements stopped.  I am aware that the US and Canada have a Coast Guard cutter presence on the Great Lakes to at least keep a few shipping lanes like the Detroit River open, but I rarely see any USCG presence on the river, and definitely not ice breakers.

 

Also, how do they keep the Ohio River locks functioning?  It seems like the locks would necessarily contain some "trapped" standing water which one would think would freeze up before the flowing water does.

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It seems that the recent ice wasn't thick enough to prevent tows from moving. You could say that they were their own icebreakers, for light ice.

 

I think the answer is that in the event of thick ice, the tows simply don't operate. The coal power companies know this, and hopefully have enough coal stockpiled to get through until the ice melts.

 

Historically, river ice doesn't just lay in thick sheets. It moves with the current, and piles up. 1918 was a very bad year for riverboats; lots of old steamers were crushed by ice.

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Interesting photos... how do they keep the barges moving in river conditions like this?  In '77 the river froze solid and power plants were worried about their coal supply because all barge movements stopped.  I am aware that the US and Canada have a Coast Guard cutter presence on the Great Lakes to at least keep a few shipping lanes like the Detroit River open, but I rarely see any USCG presence on the river, and definitely not ice breakers.

 

Also, how do they keep the Ohio River locks functioning?  It seems like the locks would necessarily contain some "trapped" standing water which one would think would freeze up before the flowing water does.

 

The power plants always keep a month's worth of coal onsite.  Also, many (but not all) of them that normally get coal deliveries by barge also have rail connections. 

 

I don't think ice near the locks really matters.  The locking process is very fast, with a barge entering and leaving each lock at least once per hour.  That's not enough time for ice to form in the chamber or around the doors. 

 

 

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