By Stacey Leasca
February 25, 2019

The official start of spring may just be a few weeks away, but residents along Lake Erie wouldn’t know it. After all, they just experienced an extremely rare weather phenomenon that is so wild it doesn’t even sound real: an ice tsunami.

Courtesy of Town of Hamburg Emergency Services

According to Fox News, the Lake Erie region experienced high winds on Sunday and Monday that caused not only power outages and travel delays, but also caused a wall of ice to push onshore along the lake. These photos show the massive amount of ice that was pushed onto land in just 15 minutes.

Courtesy of Town of Hamburg Emergency Services
Courtesy of Town of Hamburg Emergency Services

The Niagara Parks Police Service in Niagara Parks, Ontario, Canada even posted video of the bizarre weather event. The ice wall was so large that eventually it forced the department to close streets to the public.

Of course, that didn’t stop people from checking out the scene for themselves.

“An incredible sight along the Niagara River in Fort Erie as strong winds from today’s storm have pushed hundreds of chunks of ice on shore over barriers,” Twitter user Cody Law shared.

"This ice tsunami is one of the craziest things I've ever witnessed," David Piano also tweeted. "Starting to bulldoze trees and street lamps."

The ice wave even caused mandatory evacuations around the region, including Hoover Beach in Hamburg, New York.

"We've had storms in the past but nothing like this," Dave Schultz, a resident of Hoover Beach, told WGRZ. "We've never had the ice pushed up against the walls and right up onto our patios."

Courtesy of Town of Hamburg Emergency Services

The strong winds aren’t over yet. As Fox noted, the National Weather Service is warning that winds along Lake Ontario could also reach 75 mph, causing "extensive damage to trees and power lines, widespread power outages, and property damage to roofs and siding." The service added, "This is a particularly dangerous situation! If you must travel be prepared for extensive damage and downed power lines.”

The winds are expected to last throughout the day, but, according to the National Weather Service, things will calm down by Tuesday. Then, residents can get back to looking forward to spring with the rest of us.