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Ice Boom Repairs to Take Two Weeks

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Work will begin in the next day or so on repairs to the Lake Erie Ice Boom. A section of it was ripped apart by strong winds earlier this week.

With a cold wind blowing, and wind chills in the single digits, crews from the New York Power Authority braved the wintry weather Wednesday to assess the damage to the ice boom.

This isn't the first time it's been breached. There's a great deal of pressure on the boom from the ice. And when strong winds blow like the other day, Power Authority spokeswoman Joanne Willmont says it can break.

"There appear to be nine sections that opened, of a total of 22 sections that make up the ice boom," Willmont explained.

The boom is designed to hold back Lake Erie ice from flowing down the Niagara River where it can damage power intakes. It will take two weeks to repair.

Willmont says there are other ways of protecting power intakes from ice now flowing down the river. Ice breakers are on duty surrounding intakes on both the US and Canadian sides. And there's a control feature just above the falls that can direct the ice away from the intakes.