A lifebelt on the MV Lafferty. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Fort Simpson’s ferry may introduce weight restrictions on vehicles this weekend, the NWT government says.
It’s unusual for the ferry to have to introduce a weight restriction at this point in the season. The Liard River, which it crosses, has been reporting markedly low water levels for this time of year.
An examination of Department of Infrastructure notifications on X (formerly Twitter) suggests a similar weight restriction was publicized only at the start of the November last year.
Writing on X on Friday – where posts are now only visible if you have an account – the department stated the MV Lafferty ferry to and from Fort Simpson “may be restricted to vehicles weighing up to 40,000 kgs starting tomorrow.”
Residents have been worried about the ferry’s ability to navigate the low water for a while.
Earlier this week, Mayor of Fort Simpson Sean Whelly said there was “no truth to the rumour that they’re going to be shutting down this weekend,” noting speculation had already begun.
“If we don’t get rain in the area in the next two weeks, we probably are going to see the ferry temporarily shut down,” said Whelly earlier this week. “I’ll base that on my own experience, looking at the rivers and what happens this time of year.”
Beyond a chance of light showers on Friday night, there is no rain in Fort Simpson’s forecast for the week ahead.