Houses Turned to Ice on the Great Lakes

Adrian Dolatschko | | WeatherWeather
A Facade of Ice Image: John Kucko

Imagine, the world as you know it is suddenly covered in ice. This is what happened to residents on Lake Ontario, NY when they found their home to be encased in several inches of ice. Several other beach houses suffered a similar fate. Yet this specific house gained national attention for its amount of ice.

The ice effect is a phenomenon where a combination of high winds and water spray freeze. Extreme conditions brought the effect into existence. According to reporter John Kucko,

“the building rests just 20 feet from the rocky shores of Lake Ontario where winds recorded up to 81mph caused the waves to crash against the small home”

The result is an intricate design of layered ice that seems to be out of a fiction story.

When Icicles Become a Wall Image: John Kucko

However, for homeowners, the phenomenon has a different meaning,

“It’s devastating, what this has done,” Berta Smith told the outlet. “That water is just going to rot that wood out and you’re going to lose the foundation of these houses.”

With ice naturally expanding upon freezing, water will draw deep into the structure of any buildings affected. Hopefully, for the homeowners, the ice will not have drawn too deep.

An Ice Light House From Michigan in 2014 Image: Thomas Zakowski

Yet the ice effect is nothing new since strong winds and cold temperatures have long caused similar ice storms. In winter the Great Lakes are known for the incredible ice vistas that the weather causes. Yet the extraordinary level to which the house on Lake Ontario is encased prompted renewed attention.

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