Storm waves cover houses with a layer of ice

During winter storms in North America, waves in Ontario covered houses in a layer of ice. Residents fear damage to buildings.

Several homes on the beach promenade in the Canadian town of Fort Erie, Ontario were hit by icy waves during last week’s extreme snowstorms. The sides facing the lake were completely covered in ice. The photos show a whole row of buildings on Crystal Beach covered in a thick coating that looks like powdered sugar.

The storm had apparently pushed the meter-high waves of Lake Erie behind the houses. Due to the freezing temperatures, the water froze immediately – from the roof to the ground. The lake is on the Canada-US border. On the American side, several dozen people died in winter storms in Erie County, which is part of New York State. Up to 15,000 people were without electricity.

Three meter high waves

In Fort Erie, overnight low temperatures during the weekend storm dropped dramatically to extreme double-digit temperatures. The National Weather Service had warned the public that the winds on Lake Erie would increase to almost one hundred kilometers per hour. Waves over eight meters high and freezing spray were expected. Locals reported waves at least four meters high on the beach. This was also covered with a layer of ice one meter thick.

Already low water temperatures and sub-zero temperatures in the air caused homes to freeze in a flash. According to Canadian broadcaster CTV, the ice cover was almost 30 centimeters. “We have been here a long time and we have never had anything so serious in this time weather seen,” said one of the residents, Derek Tupling. “The damage that has been done and the destruction at the back of these homes that we are in now is unbelievable. Temperatures have risen again, the ice may be melting.

A historic winter storm wreaked havoc across much of the United States over Christmas. Millions of people were temporarily deprived of electricity, traffic – including in the air – came to a standstill. In eleven states, people could no longer see their hands in front of their faces and more than 30 people died. The situation only returned to normal on Thursday.

Doran Sandoval

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