A sure sign of spring is when the Niagara River Ice Boom at the mouth of the Niagara River in Fort Erie begins. Removal began this past Tuesday when 450 metres of the boom was taken out of the water. Removal of the entire ice boom should be completed before this weekend. Normally the boom remains in place until there is less than 650 square kilometres of ice on Lake Erie.
This boom prevents large masses of ice from flowing down the Niagara River protecting shoreline, property and stopping water intakes from jamming below the falls at hydro electric plants at Queenston, Ontario and Lewiston, New York.
The boom is constructed using a series of 10 steel pontoons each 10 metres long and 90 centimetres in diameters. These pontoons are anchored to the bottom of the lake by steel cables.