Crews begin installing ice boom
Work begins today on installing the ice boom. A floating structure is put in place near the outlet of Lake Erie during the colder weather to prevent ice from flowing down the Niagara river and possibly damaging part of the Niagara Power Project.
"The criteria for the ice boom installation is when the lake reaches 39 degrees or December 16th, whichever occurs first," says Keith Koralewski, Chief of the Water Management Team at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo.
"Being that it's been a warm fall, the lake is still above 39 degrees, however, we have reached the 16th criteria so the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation have decided to begin installation today, on the 16th, weather permitting."
"It only takes a few days, 2 to 3 days, to install the ice boom," says Koralewski. "The New York Power Authority has been working behind the scenes, getting prepped for this day the last couple of weeks. They have already pulled the ice boom, the spans and pontoons, out of storage and they are up on the breakwall right now. It makes it pretty easy for them to connect those to tugs and get those spans across the lake within a couple of days."
The ice boom will remain in place through the winter and be removed either April 1 or when there is less than 250-square-miles of ice in the eastern portion of Lake Erie.