As high winds beat down trees and power lines in the upper Midwest and into the Northeast, leaving hundreds of thousands without power as of Monday morning, residents are also fighting with a terrible “tsunami” of ice.
The windstorm — which gusted from 40 to 75 mph across parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Appalachians — created an “ice tsunami” across parts of New York along Lake Erie on Sunday, pushing large chunks of ice along lakeshore areas, and prompting evacuations.
On Sunday afternoon, a voluntary evacuation order was released for the Hoover Beach community in Erie County, New York, due to a large pile-up of wind-blown ice on the shore, according to the Town of Hamburg Emergency Services, which posted photos of the wall of ice on Facebook.
Video posted by the Niagara Parks Police to Twitter also shows large chunks of ice piled up along the Niagara River Parkway along the lake, making officials close some sections of the roadway.
@NiagParksPolice advising that @NiagaraParks Roads Department closing Niagara River Parkway near Mathers Arch. Strong winds blowing ice over the retaining wall from the lake. Drive with caution. Video courtesy @NiagRegPolice Insp. Garvey…. pic.twitter.com/RdXh5HYxfx
— Niagara Parks Police (@NiagParksPolice) February 24, 2019
“Strong winds blowing ice over the retaining wall from the lake,” the agency posted on Twitter. “Drive with caution.”
In Fort Erie, a town on the Niagara River in Ontario, Canada, residents are reporting walls of ice up to 40 feet tall, located up to 140 feet inland.
This ice tsunami is one of the craziest things I've ever witnessed. Starting to bulldoze trees and street lamps. #onstorm #onwx #forterie #windstorm #windstorm2019 #seiche #iceshove #icetsunami @ReedTimmerAccu @NWSBUFFALO @EC_ONweather @weathernetwork pic.twitter.com/SHj8jXCDqI
— David Piano (@ONwxchaser) February 24, 2019
“This ice tsunami is one of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed,” said David Piano, a storm chaser from Hamilton, Ontario. “Starting to bulldoze trees and street lamps.”
A Lakeshore Flood Warning was in effect until 4 a.m. Monday morning for Erie, Niagara, and Chautauqua counties, according to weather.com.
On Monday morning, the National Weather Service in Buffalo warned residents about flooding due to ice flowing and ice jams along the Niagara River, noting that a significant amount of ice has breached the ice boom, which will cause additional ice to flow down the river.
High wind warnings remain in effect through Monday afternoon in parts of the Northeast, including Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, weather.com reported.
But some of the worst conditions will be east of Lake Ontario in upstate New York where a blizzard warning remains in effect into Monday afternoon.