Surreal photos show homes on the edge of Lake Erie wrapped in ice

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While its name may conjure up pristine sands, Canada’s Crystal Beach community is taking center stage this week with a less idyllic image: homes covered in thick layers of ice crystals.

An unusual winter storm that hit much of the United States and southeastern Canada over the holiday weekend left a striking imprint on the homes of this community of Fort Erie on the eastern edge of Lake Erie, and poses a potential hazard to the coastline. left in pristine condition. As strong winds blew over the area, cold lake water flowed over the houses, covering them from base to roof with ice.

If outside temperatures were warmer than average at this time of year, this could just be a flood story.

However, the storm brought bitter cold, with overnight lows dropping into the single digits in southern Ontario. Fort Her Erie is across the border in Buffalo where a winter storm killed more than 30 people.

In news reports, residents say huge waves are crashing over the Lake Erie seawall and freezing on the sides of their homes.

Buffalo are used to snow. Why was the storm so deadly?

Canada’s weather agency, Environment Canada, has issued warnings and special weather statements in advance of the storm for all provinces and territories nationwide except Manitoba. It warned Canadians accustomed to extreme cold to take precautions, noting that Ontario, Quebec and towns along the Atlantic coast were likely to be hit hardest.

By Christmas morning, Canadian Niagara Power reported a massive power outage across Fort Erie and nearby Port Colborne, affecting about 14,000 customers on Sunday morning. The storm also fell large amounts of snow in areas that cut trees, cut power lines, left cars behind and even snowplows stuck in snow banks.

As Fort Erie continued to dig on Thursday, Canadian forecasters said the region is likely to see significant temperature increases over the next few days, with highs surpassing 50 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday and Friday. .

There is concern about the possibility of flooding due to global warming. On Wednesday afternoon, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority issued a flood watch for parts of the Niagara Peninsula, including Fort Erie and surrounding towns.

Officials called the ice on the shores of Lake Erie “particularly unstable and dangerous” and urged residents to stay away from it.

“Keep off the ice. Spectacular and beautiful, but not worth dying for a photo,” the Fort Erie Fire Department warned on the town’s Facebook page.

Extreme cold can wreak all sorts of havoc in your home, from burst pipes to warped cladding to cracked sealants. In Crystal Beach, it can take days for homeowners to know the status of their crystallized properties.

Meanwhile, houses covered in ice crystals have become more than a local sight.

Fort Erie Fire Chief Mark Schmidt told CityNews Toronto that tourists who come to town to take pictures are drawn to the spectacle. It is also endangering city officials who may be called upon for help.

“Okay, it’s a beautiful formation, but it’s very dangerous,” Schmidt said. “There is enough [photos] You can see it from there as well as from here on social media and news programs. ”

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