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Harsh winter creates thicker ice on N.B. rivers, and some extra outdoor opportunities
Along with the snow, there's been more ice around this winter, and not just on city sidewalks.
There is thicker-than-usual ice cover on rivers, and heavier-than-usual traffic to boot.
Bruce Rand and Steve White have a shack on the Kennebecasis River and this year, they and others are much further out on the river than usual.
Because of thicker ice, they have been able to go out about a kilometer from shore.
“We've been very fortunate with lots of ice this year, and not a lot of snow, so we're able to travel on the ice,” said White.
Fishermen estimate the ice here is between two and three feet thick and so there's more than fishermen out here.
“Who would have thought that we could be on a bicycle, on the first of March, on the river in this beautiful weather,” said cyclist Sue DeLong.
There is more ice on rivers this winter, and the further north you go in New Brunswick, the deeper the snow gets. Those are conditions that might influence the coming spring break up and flood season.
The snow cover ranges from very light along the Fundy coast to very heavy in northern regions, especially in the upper St. John River Valley.
“The snow pack is at about 135 to 140 percent of what is considered a norm over 20 years,” said Greg McCallum of the New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization. “So, we have a lot of snow; we probably have at least as much or more than last year.”
Both EMO officials and ice fishermen say just how bad the coming melt will be is impossible to predict.
“Depends on how fast it melts,” said Rand. “How much rain we get, and how much warm temperatures, how much it freezes at night.”
White says the ice is generally gone by the middle of April.
In another sign of a cold season, the ice road from Saint John to the Kingston Peninsula has made a comeback this year.
Police advise against using the shortcut across the Kennebecasis River, but for now, a lot of motorists are taking advantage of one of the perks of a cold winter.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.