23:58 GMT +322 July 2019
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    'Ice Tsunami' makes its way past a retaining wall and onto a roadway in Fort Erie, Canada.

    Strong Winds Create Ice Tsunami, Prompt Evacuations Along Lake Erie (VIDEOS)

    © Screenshot/Mike Seidel
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    Blocks of ice from the Niagara River were pushed over a retaining wall and onto a roadway in Fort Erie, Canada, this week, thanks to powerful wind gusts measuring close to 80 mph.

    Dubbed an "ice tsunami," the jaw-dropping phenomenon, which is officially known as an ice shove or ice surge, created roughly 30-foot-high walls of ice along the shores of the Niagara River and Lake Erie.

    AccuWeather reported that ice tsunamis take place "when strong winds or currents force broken-up ice from the water's surface to go on land."

    ​Video footage shared online by Ontario's Niagara Parks Police, but originally recorded by an officer with the Niagara Regional Police Service, shows chunks of ice being pushed onto the Niagara River Parkway by an invisible force.

    ​Officials later closed off the roadway on account of the ice and urged locals to "drive with caution."

    Elsewhere along the US-Canadian border, Mike Seidel, meteorologist for The Weather Channel, managed to capture the moment that an ice shove forced its way past a barrier. "Whoa! Ice shove along the Niagara River in Fort Ontario after a boom gave way upstream and ice flowed down the river, courtesy of 60+ MPH wind gusts," he tweeted.

    ​Despite the dangers, dozens of locals have been making their way to the Niagara River Parkway to capture a video or even a picture or two of the shocking amounts of ice piling up around and over the retaining walls.

    ​"This ice tsunami is one of the craziest things I've ever witnessed," storm chaser David Piano tweeted earlier this week. "Starting to bulldoze trees and street lamps."

    He later noted in an additional tweet that the ice shove is "truly an incredible force of nature."

    ​Further south along the border, in Hamburg, New York, residents of Hoover Beach have been witness to ice buildups of alarming sizes, which have been piling up on several lakefront properties along Lake Erie.

    Officials with the New York Power Authority revealed that the ice mounds were the result of a seiche that formed on the eastern end of the lake.

    ​According to the US' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a seiche is caused by "strong winds and rapid changes in atmospheric pressure" that ultimately causes water to be pushed back and forth in a enclosed area. This weather event can last for either a few hours or several days.

    With this in mind, officials recently called for a voluntary evacuation of Hamburg's Hoover Beach area and began a door-to-door check-in to account for residents in affected areas.

    Sean Crotty, the emergency manager for the town of Hamburg, told local news station WROC that the ice piles formed within just 12 minutes.

    ​"It came quick," he told the station. "It was all the ice that was surface ice out on the lake; when the winds started blowing, it started to crack, and then the upheaval from underneath the lake level rising that started to pile it all up, and it moved very very rapidly."

    Crotty added that as long as the winds stay strong, "it could cause the structures to ultimately collapse," which is the main reason why he's informing locals that "they may have to exit [their homes] very, very rapidly."

    ​The Hoover Beach voluntary evacuation won't be lifted by officials until winds die down, WROC reported. Additionally, AP reported that more than 65,000 power outages were reported to officials within upstate New York.


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    Ice Mound, Ice Tsunami, Weather, New York, Canada, United States
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