A lifebelt on the MV Lafferty. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Ferries outside Fort Simpson, Wrigley and Tsiigehtchic are shutting down for the 2023 summer season, slightly earlier than is normally the case.
The MV Johnny Berens, on the Highway 1 N’Dulee crossing between Fort Simpson and Wrigley, closed on Sunday.
The MV Lafferty, which operates the Liard River crossing connecting Fort Simpson to the main highway system and the south, did not run on Sunday and may be closed for the season, though an inspection will take place early on Monday.
“With decreasing water levels, it is unlikely we will be able to resume operations this season,” the NWT’s Department of Infrastructure stated on Sunday.
The MV Louis Cardinal, outside Tsiigehtchic, was placed on 72-hour closure notice on Friday. “The ferry could close for season sooner with little or no notice,” the department stated at the time.
Each ferry crossing looks set to close a little ahead of the 15-year average closing dates.
The MV Johnny Berens’ average closing date in recent years has been November 1, followed by MV Lafferty on November 3 and MV Louis Cardinal on November 8.
The MV Abraham Francis, on the Peel River outside Fort McPherson, also ordinarily closes for the season around November 8. So far, the NWT government’s ferries webpage suggests the MV Abraham Francis is operating a standard schedule.