BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Crews in Buffalo are hauling out the ice boom.

The annual task involves placing nearly two miles of barrier at the mouth of Lake Erie where it flows into the Niagara River. The idea is to hold back the flow of ice from the lake into the river, where it can jam up and reduce the water flow needed for hydro-electric power.

Placement of the 22 spans of floating steel pontoons starts when the Lake Erie water temperature in Buffalo reaches 39 degrees, or on Dec. 16, whichever comes first.

The ice boom was first installed in 1964.

New York state and Ontario, Canada, share the cost of installing and maintaining the 1.7-mile ice boom, as well as its removal and storage each spring.


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