Sea ice prevents shipments to communities in Canada's Arctic north
Some 3,000 residents of Paulatuk, Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk cannot get food, fuel and lumber from ships, after ice moving from the high Arctic sealed off the Amundsen Gulf.
Water treatment supplies and some vehicles are also among the stranded items, local media said.
Ice conditions in the Amundsen Gulf are thought to be the most challenging in over 30 years, the government of Northwest Territories said in a statement earlier this week.
It is reported that even the Canadian coast guard's largest icebreaker in the region was unable to help break open a channel for the barges.
Local authorities now plan to deliver petroleum products by aircraft, while exploring options for other goods after consultation with customers and logistics representatives.
The sea lift is critical for people in the northern communities in the Arctic. Container ships usually use summer months to anchor in deep water and make deliveries with barges.
Some residents say barges could have been brought in earlier in the summer season for this batch of shipment. ■