Wolfe Island residents hit with ferry cancellations, power outages during winter storm

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Wolfe Island residents hit with ferry cancellations, power outages during winter storm
Island residents waiting in line to take the ferry faced wait times of up to three hours over the Christmas weekend – Dec 28, 2022

Much of the Kingston region has spent the last few days getting back to normal following a blizzard over the holidays.

But for residents of Wolfe Island, the storm not only wreaked havoc on the roads, but also resulted in ferry cancellations and a prolonged power outage.

The ferry to the island was pulled out of service on Dec. 23 due to extreme weather, and was again docked on Christmas Eve due to a lack of staff.

Read more: New Wolfe Island, Amherst Island ferries remain docked for over a year

It wasn’t up and running again until later on Christmas Day.

“Most islanders knew this was going to be one heck of a storm, by all accounts,” says Judy Greenwood-Speers, mayor of Frontenac Islands.

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“So most stayed on the island. Some were coming to the island, and some of them thought they could get away with a quick trip over — didn’t work out well.”

The Ministry of Transportation says all ferry service in the region was disrupted by the storm.

“All ferries in Eastern Ontario, including The Wolfe Island and Glenora ferries, were out of service due to high winds,” says the MTO in a statement.

One Wolfe Island resident told Global News her power was out for nearly three days when she decided to take the ferry to Kingston to stay with family.

The wait for the ferry was about three hours.

“As soon as the power came on and the boat started coming reliably, the hydro crews came over, six to eight trucks, and they did the best they could from the get-go,” says Greenwood-Speers.

“And the island survived. No one was injured, no loss of life.”

The island did more than survive.

Even though some of the island was covered in ice, it didn’t dampen the community’s giving Christmas spirit.

Read more: Wolfe Island residents worry new ferry dock won’t be completed on time

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“We were very fortunate the hydro stayed on in the village and in the east, so the hotel opened up,” says Greenwood-Speers.

“You could get room, you could get food, you could have some drink. We also had the fire hall available.”

Islanders are now looking ahead to what is expected to be a big melt coming over the next week, with temperatures forecasted to be pushing toward double digits.

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