Windstorm pushes massive amounts of Lake Erie ice.

NY Power Authority says the ice boom was not broken by the storm despite huge flow of ice into the Niagara River.
Posted at 7:11 PM, Feb 25, 2019

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — A powerful windstorm that blew into the Buffalo/Niagara region on Sunday February 24th saw wind gusts of more than 70 mph.

It also pushed massive amounts of Lake Erie ice onto the shores of Hoover Beach, Hamburg and into the Niagara River.

So much ice flowed into the Niagara River that many thought the ice boom had broken.

That ice then flowed downstream and caused concerns about possible ice-jam flooding on Cayuga Island in Niagara Falls.

While no flooding occurred, some docks were badly damaged by the ice.

According to the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the ice boom did not break and acted as it was designed - to submerge in high-wind, high-water events so ice can flow over it.

However, spokesperson Lou Paonessa said some pontoons came off the ice boom and floated down river.

NYPA said it was hoping to use drones to inspect the ice boom for damage but the winds were still too high on Monday February 25th.

Ice breakers from both the U.S. and Canada were working to break up the ice to make sure it continued to flow over Niagara Falls without creating problems for either the Niagara Power Project or residents on Cayuga Island.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly visited both Niagara Falls and Hamburg to see the effect of high-wind on the ice.