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Ice boom removal set to start Monday

Crews are planning to start removal of the Lake Erie ice boom on Monday, the International Joint Commission said late last week.

Based on the amount of ice remaining on the eastern end of Lake Erie and the weather forecast, the New York Power Authority was preparing for the work, the IJC said in a news release.

The work by the Power Authority to pull out the 8,800-foot ice boom would start if the weather allows for safe working conditions.

The boom gets installed every December between Buffalo Harbor and Fort Erie to minimize ice floes that contribute to shoreline erosion in the Niagara River and may threaten to damage downstream hydropower operations. Removal begins when ice cover is estimated to be below 250 square miles.

Last year, crews started removing the boom April 10, the IJC said. The earliest start date ever for removal was Feb. 28, 2012; the latest was May 3, 1971, according to the commission.

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