Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 15, 2014

Great Lakes become nearly covered with ice

By JOHN FLESHER Associated Press Writer
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — CHEBOYGAN — From the bridge of the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, northern Lake Huron looks like a vast, snow-covered field dotted with ice slabs as big as boulders — a battleground for the icebreaker’s 58-member crew during one of the roughest winters in memory.

It’s been so bitterly cold for so long in the Upper Midwest that the Great Lakes are almost completely covered with ice. The last time they came this close was in 1994, when 94 percent of the lakes’ surface was frozen.

As of Friday, ice cover extended across 88 percent, according to the federal government’s Great Lakes Environmental