Frozen in Slush: The Carnage of the 2008 Season's end

With photos from Ken Cross, Al Mancintyre, Bob Presland and Ronald Zinn
This is one ice-off we'll remember for a long time

The aftermath of a huge season ending winter storm caused headaches and distress for most hut owners at Petrie Island. The late winter storm hit March 8, 2008 and dumped up to 51 centimeters of snow in the Ottawa area including high winds, rain, freezing rain and ice pellets.

The weight of the heavy snow on the ice pushed water out from the edges of the bay which made a slushy mess under the pristine looking snow, which then froze solid locking many cars and ice huts in the ice. Vehicles were stuck in the ice in Baitshop Bay for up to 5 days. Huts were frozen in the ice, some up to 50 centimeters.

This is one ice-off we'll remember for a long time

Friday, the day before huts were supposed to be removed from the ice, saw many hut owners scrambling to get their huts jacked up and free of the ice. Even with the ice road closed and totally impassible, a few adventurous hut owners attemped to do their own hauling. Some were successfull while others were not. In the end, one owner pulled out his hut successfully using a tandem of 4x4's hauling his hut on a trailer. Some others were not so lucky...

Oziles' brings out a snow groomer to save the day

Friday evening, just hours before huts are supposed to be removed from the ice, M. Grandmaitre pulled out what many thought would be relief to the situation with a recently acquired 1974 snow grooming machine to smooth out the ice road. The jubilation was short lived as the groomer could not pass because of the damaged ice road. Many hut owners were ready and prepared to be towed off that day, but most huts remained ice-bound due to the extreme situation.

Early Saturday the snow groomer cleared a new road and the hut removal began. Ice conditions were still poor that day and only a few huts could be removed.

Some huts had to be dismantled

With the hard work from Oziles' and some eager volunteers, most huts were pulled off the ice by late Wednesday, March 19. Some huts were frozen so deep in the ice they had to be dismantled. It was a sad end to such a great season.