Now that Spring is here in Western New York and the chance of freezing temperatures and snow is minimal workers have begun removing the ice boom on Lake Erie yesterday.

The ice boom has been 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, which could cause damage downriver.

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

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 hydroelectric 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.

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The earliest the ice boom was ever removed was February 28th, 2012. The latest was on May 3rd, 1971. Last year the ice boom removal was started on March 17th

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