CLAYTON, N.Y (WWTI) — The shipping season has been extended by one day.

This extension followed the historic holiday blizzard that resulted in strong winds and whiteout conditions along the Great Lakes basin, according to a notice from the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway System.

“Several ships that were in different parts of the Great Lakes voluntarily went to anchor or safe harbor for a day or two just to wait out some of the strong winds and storm conditions that we saw,” Seaway Development Corporation Administrator Adam Tindall-Schlicht explained.

The Montreal-Lake Ontario Section of the Seaway will now close at noon on January 1, 2023, as opposed to noon on December 31, 2022.

The Seaway closes annually to both help vessels avoid extreme winter weather and also allow the Seaway Development Corporation to make much-needed repairs at locks throughout the system.

“We use this time to reinvest in our locks and pour millions of dollars in capital improvements to make sure those locks are fully ready for the next shipping season,” Tindall-Schlich said.

Tindall-Schlich also explained how the system has had many successes and was able to overcome supply chain disruptions.

He said the system saw the largest increase in corn, soy and wind turbine imports, as well as increased containerization throughout the Great Lakes.

But as the newly-elected Seaway Administrator, Tindall-Schlicht said it is important to him to see these successes benefit the North Country.

“We’re responsible for operating the Eisenhower and Snell locks, both located in Massena, New York,” he said. “Seeing the economic impact of what the Seaway does for the North Country, is really a great part of the job.”

The Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Seaway will tentatively open for the 2023 shipping season in mid-March. But for now, the ships will anchor for winter.