In what is a sure sign that Spring is almost here in Western New York, workers began removing the ice boom on Lake Erie yesterday.

The ice boom is used by the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation to help control and reduce the amount of ice that flows from Lake Erie down the Niagara River.

According to International Joint Commission's website, the ice boom has been used on Lake Erie for over 50 years.

Each winter since 1964, the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom has been installed near the outlet of Lake Erie to reduce the amount of ice entering the Niagara River.  A reduction of ice entering the river reduces the potential for ice jams, which can result in damage to shoreline property and significantly reduce water flow for hydro-electric power production.

The ice boom is removed when the ice coverage on Lake Eire is at a minimum. According to the IJC press release, now is the perfect time to remove the ice boom.

"Considering the lack of ice cover on Lake Erie and the absence of ice in the Maid-of-the-Mist Pool below Niagara Falls, preparations are underway for the removal of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom,:



It will take workers several days to remove the ice boom. There are 22 spans within the boom that need to be removed from Lake Erie.

The earliest the ice boom was ever removed was February 28th, 2012. The latest was on May 3rd, 1971. Last year the ice boom was removed on March 2nd.


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