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Ice boom installation completed

WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley

Although the region is experiencing a mild winter, the installation of the ice boom was delayed because of weather. High winds and large waves along Lake Erie hampered the annual project.

But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York Power Authority announced completion of the ice boom along Lake Erie and the Niagara River. The final three floating sections were installed Monday. 

"There are 22 spans going from the coast of Canada and to the coast of the United States and that's at the inlet of the Niagara River," stated James Scungio, Civil Engineer. He tells WBFO News windy weather along the lake held up this year's installation.

"Wave action is just not conducive to putting in the boom when we have high waves and high winds," explained Scungio.

Credit WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley
Ice on Lake Erie from past winters.

The ice boom protects the New York Power Authority's hydro-electric intakes along the water. But it also protects flooding and ice jamming along the Niagara River. 

"It also protests the shoreline property down stream. You can imagine if the boom wasn't there and at least hindering some of that ice from going down stream that could take out docks and property and jam up the intakes of the power plant," noted Scungio.

NYPA has been installing the ice boom since December of 1964. 

Lake Erie currently remains wide open from ice due to the mild winter, but the boom is ready for changes. The boom is scheduled to be removed April 1, however with long winters, ice surveys are conducted over the lake and river span to determine when the time is right for removal.     

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