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NYPA Begins Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom Installation | Weather

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NYPA Begins Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom Installation
NYPA Begins Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom Installation

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced preparations for installation of the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom began Nov. 29, with installation expected to be completed the week of Dec. 13.  This marks the first time the ice boom is being installed from its new warm-weather storage location accessed at 100 Katherine St.—a 10.3 acre parcel on the Buffalo River in Buffalo’s Old First Ward. 

“With the installation of the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom this year, we see the benefits of several years of hard work by the community and the Power Authority to find the right alternative storage location,” said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, NYPA. “The former site is now valuable property for waterfront development, and the new area has the space and water access needed without any compromise for proper operations.” 

“Seeing the ‘JonCaire’ tug and ‘Breaker’ ice breaker vessel bringing out the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom is a sure sign of winter but more importantly it signals the collaborative efforts by the Power Authority and our international sister utility, Ontario Power Generation, to ensure production of reliable electricity needed by local industries for economic growth and success,” said D. Patrick Curley, trustee, NYPA and a resident of Orchard Park in Erie County. 

The Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom, a series of floating steel pontoons connected by steel cables, is put in place prior to the winter ice season to help reduce the frequency and duration of ice runs from Lake Erie into the Niagara River.  This helps protect against ice build-up at the hydroelectric water intakes on the Niagara River, downstream of the ice boom, to maintain the water flow necessary for NYPA’s Niagara Power Project and Ontario Power Generation’s Sir Adam Beck Generating Station to generate electricity. The ice boom is jointly owned by NYPA and OPG, and is installed each winter under guidelines established by the International Niagara Board of Control of the International Joint Commission.   

The new warm-weather storage and maintenance site fulfilled a commitment NYPA made during the relicensing of its Niagara Power Project to diligently seek to relocate the storage area for the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom. The previous storage location was at 175 Fuhrmann Boulevard in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. 

NYPA examined more than 25 potential sites along Lake Erie and its tributaries before identifying the Katherine Street parcel (formerly known as the Hamburg Street parcel) as meeting the requirements for the storage and maintenance of the ice boom, including water access for installing and removing the boom in the winter and spring.   

NYPA is currently developing plans for a 1.3-acre park on the northwest section of the new site—including a recreational boathouse facility and a canoe/kayak launch—which is expected to be available for public use by the end of 2011.



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