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That "once in a lifetime" ice photo comes with a warning

Posted at 11:48 AM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 18:36:16-05

TOWN OF HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — This weekend's wind storm pushed piles of Lake Erie ice into dramatic "mountains" on both sides of the Great Lake and it didn't take long for the formations to attract photographers and Instagrammers from across the area.

Now, safety warnings have been issued by the Niagara Parks Commission and Town of Hamburg Emergency Services for residents that are flocking to the shores to capture the unusual weather event.

In Fort Erie, The Niagara Parks Commission is warning the public to use caution, when driving along the south Niagara Parkway, particularly in the area of Mather Arch. The Parkway is closed between Central Avenue and Queen Street due to the towering ice formations. The ice piles continue to move and shift and could pose a risk, according to a statement from the Commission.

In Hamburg, officials have noticed many people are coming to the Hoover Beach area to take pictures of the slabs of ice that have piled up and some people are actually climbing on to the ice build-up. According to an alert issued by the Town of Hamburg Emergency Services office, the ice is very unstable and precarious. Because of the safety concerns and privacy concerns for the Hoover Beach residents, people are asked to stay away from the ice piles.

Officials stress that these ice formations can pose an "extreme danger" that isn't worth the photo-op.

"Smaller pieces are hundreds of pounds," said Sean Crotty, Hamburg Emergency Services Coordinator. "We're working on getting some signage down here to encourage people to stay away and realize the danger of it."