What is the origin of the Ice Boom?

Q – What is the origin of the Ice Boom?

Note: The following links are best viewed with a tablet or desktop computer

Lake Erie – Niagara Ice Boom Information Sheet

Annual Ice Boom Removal Ready To Start 3/26/13

Click below for full details & pictures


(Picture of 3 booms on shore)

The annual springtime removal of the Power Authority’s Ice Boom comes just a few weeks before the opening of a park on land where the boom used to be stored.

As a follow-up to his frequent negotiations with the New York Power Authority, Congressman Brian Higgins office has unveiled new plans for two new waterfront access points, including a new park, opening in a little over two weeks on a large plot of outer harbor land where the boom used to be stored.

The Power Authority’s new boom  storage site, at Ohio and Hamburg Sts., also includes access, with boat launch and kayak opportunities.

The boom is a large collection of chains and beams strung across the mouth of the Niagara River to hold ice back and keep it from clogging the intakes at the authority’s hydroelectric generating station above Niagara Falls.   Removal of the temporary boom – based on springtime melt and lack of overall ice cover on the Great Lakes- began earlier this week.

Earlier Coverage: from Tuesday March 26

Here’s their announcement released Tuesday morning:

The US Army Corps of Engineers has announced that the Lake Erie ice cover has diminished enough to begin removing the ice boom, that collection of chains and beams used to hold ice back from the NY Power Authority’s hydroelectric project intakes.

BUFFALO, NEW YORK —– Preparations are underway for removal of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom.

As of this morning, ice cover on eastern Lake Erie is less than 230 square kilometers (89 square miles). Considering the limited amount of ice buildup in the Maid-of-the-Mist Pool below Niagara Falls and the limited potential for significant ice to form in either location, preparations are underway for the removal of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom.

With favorable weather conditions, a New York Power Authority crew will begin opening the boom’s 22 spans this afternoon. Last year, boom opening began on February 28, which was the boom’s earliest opening date since the boom was first installed in the winter of 1964-65. The latest date for opening the boom was May 3, 1971.

The ice boom is owned and operated by the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation. It permits formation of a stable ice cover under which Niagara River flows can pass freely. The use of the boom is authorized by the International Joint Commission with its International Niagara Board of Control overseeing the installation, operation and removal.

The annual installation of the boom substantially reduces ice accumulation that interferes with hydro-electric power production and can cause flooding and damage to shore properties.

(Picture of light house, boom& tug)


You must be logged in to post a comment.