The removal of the ice boom will be delayed beyond the normal April 1 takeout date, the International Niagara Board of Control announced Thursday
Satellite imagery taken Tuesday showed that eastern Lake Erie is over 95 percent ice covered, amounting to 1,876 square miles. Typically, the ice boom is removed when there is less than 250 square miles of ice remaining.
The boom — made up of steel pontoons linked together from the Buffalo Harbor to near the Canadian shore — is designed to keep ice chunks from flowing down the Niagara River and damaging the intakes of the authority’s Niagara Power Project.
Under international regulations, the boom must be removed by April 1 unless there is more than 250 square miles of ice on the eastern end of the lake.
Satellite imagery, along with reconnaissance flights as necessary, will be used to monitor ice conditions to determine when boom opening can begin, the International Niagara Board of Control said in a release.
The latest ice boom opening was on May 3, 1971. Last year, boom opening began on April 29.