Icy Rivers Slow New York Barges Trying to Deliver Heating Fuel

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay helps break free tug Stephanie Dann from the ice on the Hudson River near Kingston, N.Y. Jan. 2, 2018. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard.

Shivering New Yorkers may have to pay more to get warm as ice in the Hudson River delayed fuel-barge deliveries and the U.S. government warned of a home heating-fuel shortage from the East Coast to Texas.

The Coast Guard has deployed four of its five Hudson River ice-cutting vessels since Dec. 30 to carve out a path for tankers hauling motor and heating fuels to supply terminals around the city.

River ice thickened to 6 inches north of Poughkeepsie, New York, over the weekend, according to Steve Strohmeyer, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman. The agency later warned of ice conditions forming around Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

U.S. retail diesel prices averaged $2.87 a gallon on New Year’s Day, the most since June 2015, according to motorist group AAA.

With assistance by Lucia Kassai