Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Record cold doesn't stop river traffic



By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Rising overnight temperatures and other factors will keep the Ohio River from freezing enough to stop river traffic, according to Paul Anderson, owner of the Anderson Ferry.

img
Dunks gathered on ice chunks on the Ohio River Monday.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
While a sheet of ice formed on the river, rendering navigation across it difficult Monday, the ice was so thin that the ferry was able to plow through.

Temperatures reached a record-tying low of minus 11 Sunday morning - the coldest true temperature Cincinnati has felt since Feb. 4, 1996, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. That temperature matched the record for the day set on Jan. 27, 1963.

But Mr. Andersondoesn't expect to have to shut down the ferry. "I think it's supposed to gradually warm up all night." He said it normally takes a couple of weeks of below-freezing temperatures to freeze the river.

But there are several other factors. "The sunshine during the day helps to melt the surface," although the ice will build up again overnight, Mr. Anderson saidSteam rose from the river Monday morning, making it difficult for the ferry to see the landings. It looks as if there's no danger of a repeat of the notorious river freeze of January 1977, when the river froze solid enough for some intrepid souls to cross on foot. That followed nearly a month of temperatures at or below zero. The river froze again in January 1978.

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com

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