Ice shove creates mountains along Lake Erie shore

PORT CLINTON, Ohio-- An apparent ice shove along the Lake Erie shoreline created mountains of thick ice piled more than 30 feet high.

The piles of foot-thick ice chunks drew dozens of families to the shoreline along West Lakeshore Drive, where kids risked climbing the slippery mountains to take pictures. The ice mountains extended along the shoreline for about a quarter mile.

"I'm a little nervous, but they're real cautious. The ice is super thick," said Mike Zwissler, of Avon Lake, who owns a condominium nearby. His twin, 12-year-old daughters and their friend were climbing the ice.

"I've been coming up here for 20 years or so and never seen this kind of an ice flow," he said.

The unique formations developed Friday when strong winds pushed ice toward the shore. In an ice shove, as the initial slabs reach land, they create an ice jam that results in piles of ice. It can surge forward rapidly. In other areas, ice shoves have damaged homes and property.

Port Clinton police closed a portion of West Lakeshore Drive for several hours Friday night after the ice surged on shore and blocked portions of the roadway.

Crews used large front end loaders to remove the ice chunks and reopen the road around 11 p.m.