New Navy ship, USS Little Rock, stalled by ice

Jan 23, 2018

The USS Little Rock, a Navy ship that was commissioned in Buffalo in December, is still waiting for a clear path to the ocean. And it may be mid-March before the ship can leave Montreal, where it waits in port.


Frigid weather has created unusually heavy ice on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River this winter.

Related: Ice balls, ice volcanoes and more ice on the Great Lakes

The ship left Buffalo on Dec. 20 following its commissioning ceremony, and made it across Lake Erie and Lake Ontario before the worst weather hit.

But it stopped in Montreal for some repairs, and hasn't budged since. The city sits on the St. Lawrence River, which leads from the Great Lakes to the ocean.

"Significant weather conditions prevented the ship from departing Montreal earlier this month and icy conditions continue to intensify," Navy spokesman Courtney Hillson said in a statement.

In the meantime, the ship has been equipped with temporary heaters and 16 de-icers designed to reduce ice accumulation on the hull, the Toronto Star reports. The crew has also been provided with cold-weather clothing.

Once the vessel ships off from Montreal it will head to a Navy base near Jacksonville, Fla.