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Marine Atlantic employing all vessels to clear up backlog

High winds are delaying Marine Atlantic sailings this morning. J.R. Roy/ Special to the Gulf News
Marine Atlantic has all ships on deck today to help clear up commercial trucks and passenger traffic caused by the winter storm that were delayed by hurricane force winds since last Thursday.

Delays shown at airports, but no cancellations

Marine Atlantic is working diligently to clear up the backlog of vehicles and passengers that has plagued transportation to and from the island portion of the province since last Thursday.

Hurricane force winds caused the ships that connect Port aux Basques and North Sydney to be hauled off the Gulf run.

To get things back on schedule, three vessels are in operation on Monday including the Atlantic Vision that left North Sydney at 7 a.m. this morning with a load of approximately 75 commercial trucks.

In addition, the 11:45 a.m. crossings departed on schedule including the Highlanders from North Sydney with about 80 commercial units, 60 passenger vehicles and 186 passengers on board.

In Port aux Basques, the Blue Puttees also departed at 11:45 a.m. with approximately 80 commercial units, 85 passenger vehicles and 232 passengers on board.

There will be a dedicated commercial crossing from Port aux Basques this evening (Monday) in addition to the regular 23;45 crossings from each port.

“While we did have a backlog of commercial traffic, today’s sailings will help us clear a significant portion of that backlog,’’ Marine Atlantic spokesman Darrell Mercer said Monday afternoon.

“The Atlantic Vision will stay in the schedule as the third vessel until the backlog of commercial traffic is cleared,’’ he added.

In addition to ferry traffic, airport traffic in this province and across the eastern part of Canada has been impacted in recent days.

The St. John’s International Airport is getting their schedule back on track with no cancellations shown for incoming or departing flights.

There are a number of delays shown on both boards of varying amounts of time for respective flights.

If you are leaving any airport across the province, travellers should check the schedule to ensure the flight is on time or alert travellers to the delays.

These flights and sailing schedules could be impacted again on Tuesday night and into Wednesday with another weather system forecast to hit the area.

“We are watching another system for tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. As of now, it is too early to say whether there will be an impact and our captains will be monitoring the forecasts tonight and tomorrow morning before making any decisions,’’ Mercer said.

“If there is an impact, it is expected to be a fast moving system and should not have a significant long-term impact as we have dealt with in recent weeks,’’ he added.

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