Northern America has again been lashed by extreme weather with high winds causing massive power outages and a dangerous ice tsunami between New York and Lake Erie.

By Daniel Herborn


Posted on February 26, 2019

A video posted by the Niagara Parks Police shows large blocks of ice being washed over a retaining wall from Lake Erie and onto a strip of land near a road.

Some sections of the roadway were closed due to the dangerous conditions. More than 600,000 people across the Great Lakes area may be without power after the connected storm knocked over power lines.

The Great Lakes in Michigan have been buffeted by winds of more than 95 km/hour (60 miles/hour). Many homes have been left without power and planes have been grounded across the region.

The extreme weather conditions have also seen massive ice blocks obstructing roads, covering beaches and even trickling into local homes.

Locals took to social media to share spectacular photographs of the ice chunks spilling over barriers. Remarkably, there are no reports of anyone being injured by the flows of moving ice.

“We’ve had storms…nothing like this”

The storms lashing Lake Erie were part of a massive storm system moving across the Northeast of the US. There were also severe storm warnings in place across the neighbouring state of Ohio and a travel ban on the Ohio Turnpike.

“We’ve had storms in the past but nothing like this,” Hoover Beach local Dave Schultz told WGRZ. He has lived in the area for almost 50 years but said: “We’ve never had the ice pushed up against the walls and right up onto our patios.”

Emergency crews sprung into action in the area to check on residents. Some people near the ice wall voluntarily evacuated their properties. Many of the residences near the lake are holiday homes and were not occupied when the storm hit.

High southwest winds caused an unusual weather condition, known as a seiche, ice shove or ice push, which saw lake levels rise and force masses of ice out of the body of water. Ice pushes have been recorded in the area as far back as the early 19th century.

Header image credit: Niagara Regional Police