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Winter of heavy ice slows businesses and traffic on Northeast's waterways

  • In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 photo, ice clogs the water between wharves in Portland, Maine. Portland Harbor is encountering more ice than it has in years thanks to the coldest February on record. Several lobster boats were locked in the ice, unable to move, and ice breakers are needed to keep commerce flowing. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 photo, ice clogs the water between wharves in Portland, Maine. Portland Harbor is encountering more ice than it has in years thanks to the coldest February on record. Several lobster boats were locked in the ice, unable to move, and ice breakers are needed to keep commerce flowing. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 photo, lobster fishing boats are locked in ice at Widgery Wharf in Portland, Maine. Portland Harbor is encountering more ice than it has in years thanks to the coldest February on record. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 photo, lobster fishing boats are locked in ice at Widgery Wharf in Portland, Maine. Portland Harbor is encountering more ice than it has in years thanks to the coldest February on record. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 photo, a lobsterman looks out at the icy waters while checking on the condition of his boat in Portland, Maine. Ice clings to pilings at the high-tide mark in the background. Portland Harbor is encountering more ice than it has in years thanks to the coldest February on record. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 photo, a lobsterman looks out at the icy waters while checking on the condition of his boat in Portland, Maine. Ice clings to pilings at the high-tide mark in the background. Portland Harbor is encountering more ice than it has in years thanks to the coldest February on record. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)  (The Associated Press)

Waterways around the Northeast are beset by ice more than a foot thick in some places.

The thick ice is making life miserable for those who make their living on the water or commute via boat. Frigid temperatures froze more than 10 lobster fishing boats off of Portland in February. National Weather Service records that go back to 1940 say Maine's largest city set a record for the coldest February temperature at about 14 degrees.

The Coast Guard is cutting ice on the Hudson River in New York so barges carrying heating oil, gasoline and jet fuel can reach destinations. The ice is a foot-and-a-half thick in some areas.

A commuter ferry carrying more than 100 passengers recently was delayed about 45 minutes by the coastal ice pack off of Boston.