MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Thick ice on Muskegon Lake is taking many by surprise.
Monday morning, the ice cover put on hold the coal freighter Buffalo's plans to dock at the B.C. Cobb plant. The ship and 17,000 tons of coal were stuck in the ice and 2,000 feet short of the power plant's dock.
"Normally Muskegon Lake does not freeze up like this until after the first of the year," said Phil Andrie, President of Andrie Specialized marine equipment, which was called to break up ice and free the freighter. "It looks like we are about one month early."
The Muskegon tug Meredith Ashton rushed into service with its 2,100 horse power twin diesel engines. The ice took the freighter's crew by surprise.
"Unprecedented that is December 16 and we are stuck in virgin ice here on Muskegon Lake. Yes, it is unprecedented for Muskegon," said Andrie.