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Early Season Winter Blast

Fort Erie, Ontario - Oct. 12-13, 2006

A huge low pressure system took over North America and brought cold, arctic air down through Ontario which interacted with the relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes...The result - Total Chaos!

Lake effect rain & snow began to fall along the Lake Erie shoreline and it just kept going at incredible rates for almost 24 hours. A state of emergency was declared in the region as 30-40 cm of wet snow came down onto trees that still hadn't lost their leaves. This caused millions of branches to break, causing widespread power outages, blocked roads and general mayhem. I was there at the beginning of the storm and saw almost every kind of weather imaginable in the span of just a few hours. These snow squalls were so strong that they were producing an incredible amount of thunder & lightning along with heavy snow, grauple (small hail) and strong winds.

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Steam rising from the Niagara River at the Peace Bridge leading to Buffalo NY - Melting snow also flooded sewer drains.

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The beginning of the snow onslaught. It lasted the entire afternoon and then through the overnight.

 

I returned to the area the next morning to survey the damage caused by the overnight snow. The entire region was without power, the QEW motorway was closed down and a state of emergency had been declared. There were tree branches downed everywhere and the winds along the lake were still gusting to near hurricane strength. Buffalo got it even worse with 60 cm of snow in total.

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A brave (& cold) windsurfer at Crystal Beach. - Extreme snow weight brought down tree branches.