Northern ice roads looking more solid

WINNIPEG — More seasonal winter temperatures in northern parts of the Prairies is welcome news to isolated communities that have watched supplies deplete over the last few weeks.

Abnormal warm weather in January has washed out ice roads in northern Manitoba, Saskathewan, and some parts of Ontario, making it difficlt to transport goods and fuel to northern communities and native reserves. Many supplies had to be flown in, causing prices for products to skyrocket.

However, Canadian Press reports that some communities, such as the Garden Hill First Nation, remain cut off to road traffic. Residents in those areas are hoping the colder weather continues so that ice road builders can do their work.

In Garden Hill, the price of a four-litre jug of milk has gone up to about $20 from the usual price of $13-15, said Harper. A loaf of bread is up to $3, CP reports.

In Saskatchewan, none of the winter roads are open, although crews have been able to get on the ice with small snowplows to make it easier for the ice to thicken.

In Manitoba, about 60 per cent of the winter roads are open, although some weight restrictions apply.

Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux said the province has tried to come up with a long-term solution by diverting about 600 kilometres of winter roads off the ice to make them more reliable and safe.

— from Canadian Press

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