Home International Cold snap turns Niagara Falls into icy winter wonderland

Cold snap turns Niagara Falls into icy winter wonderland

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Niagara Falls is one place the deep freeze affecting the United States is as much seen as it is felt.

Mist from the surging waters has been freezing instantly on everything it touches, coating trees, walkways, cliffs and overlooks in a dreamy, brilliant white.

Visitors hardy enough to withstand the bone-chilling cold are treated to snapshots and selfies in a winter wonderland.

"It's outstanding. As cold as it gets, it's a year-round attraction," Paul Tabaczynski said during a visit to see the spectacle.

A Buffalo native, he lives in Dallas now but remembered to dress in layers — flannel over a T-shirt and a lined sweatshirt that passes for his winter jacket in Texas.

Water flows over the American Falls as ice forms in this view from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls.

Although everything around them freezes, the three waterfalls that make up the natural attraction between the United States and Canada continue to flow and churn up the frosty mist.

The westerly wind usually blows it toward the US side, National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Welch said, where the moisture wraps every inch of the landscape in white.

"I can't feel my feet!" 12-year-old Keila Cruz told her father, Jonathan, as she and a dozen other family members thawed out inside the Niagara Falls State Park visitor centre.

"We haven't even gone out yet," Mr Cruz said.

A coin operated binocular is covered with snow on Goat Island at Niagara Falls State Park.

The family had only come from the parking lot about 180 metres away, but the group needed a warming break before venturing to the water's edge.

"We're trying to get our feet warm because we're frozen," Mr Cruz said.

With a deep freeze stretching from south Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England, the surreal scenes have played out across a wide swath of the US.

Fountains froze in Texarkana, Arkansas, New York City's Bryant Park, and even Savannah, Georgia, where January's average high is 16 degrees Celsius.

The thermometer read -1C on Tuesday, cold enough for icicles to dangle from the ornate wrought-iron fountain in Forsyth Park.

The brink of the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls are stiff icicles and onlookers can be seen peering out over the falls.

Chunks of ice floated down the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan made "ice balls" with its rolling waves.

As of Monday (local time), ice cover on the Great Lakes was at 19.7 per cent, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Forecasters warned of hazardous travel from the south-east to New England through Friday, with the worst expected from the Carolinas to Maine. The bitter cold will linger into the weekend.

Tim Partin of Williamsburg, Kentucky, was in Niagara Falls on business when he decided to take in the scenery.

"It really is pretty," Mr Partin said.

A pair of binoculars looks over ice forming at the base of Niagara Falls.

AP

Original Article

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