by: Jolie Sherman
Grand Isle, VT — People looking to travel to Plattsburgh via the ferry from Grand Isle faced a multitude of challenges throughout the day on Wednesday.
Strong winds significantly impacted travel to the ferries and caused several truck crashes throughout the day. An empty tractor trailer crashed in Alburgh, cutting off traffic on Route 2 and shutting down Rouses Point Bridge. Later on, another empty tractor trailer crashed on Route 2 heading into South Hero.
Sargent Allen from the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department says because the trailer was empty, it was no match for the strong gusty winds.
In addition to the strong winds, ice also halted ferry service between Grand Isle and Plattsburgh. Wednesday marks the second shutdown this winter.
“Colchester Reef has been showing 30 mile an hour, 30-naut winds and gusting as high as 38/40, and there’s no indication that it will led up for a while,” said Dan Landry, Captain for Lake Champlain Transportation Company. Landry also pointed out that the ice is four to six feet deep, impeding the ferries from operating.
“Right now, we have all this ice. Half a mile of ice that is accumulating on the northern edge and it’s in front of the Cumberland Head ferry slip.”
Jerry Larracey, a truck driver who was supposed to go to Saratoga Springs might have to stay overnight due to the delays. “I’m supposed to in Saratoga Springs, New York at 2 o’clock to reload. With this delay that’s not going to happen. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this being shut down.”
“We have a lot of people that rely on us for commuting, going to the hospitals, and it’s unfortunate mother nature is dealing us this card this year,” commented Landry.