Region should stop installing ice boom

In late April, Buffalo meteorologists gave a surprising report. The nearby Canadian towns were 20 degrees colder than Buffalo and its suburbs. Why? Because instead of the wind blowing over the ice toward Buffalo keeping us colder, the wind was blowing over the ice toward Canada, keeping it colder.

The notion that the ice boom doesn’t make Buffalo colder is counterintuitive. I think the ice boom is a scam that forces us to pay higher heating bills for at least a month longer than we need to. It reaps untold millions into the coffers of National Fuel Gas, all in the name of preserving some docks on Grand Island and the water intake for the New York Power Authority. If the authority needs to install an ice grinder or some ice shields, it has the money to do it.

Perhaps some graduate students can undertake a simple study to confirm what common sense dictates – that the Lake Erie ice pack does indeed make the downwind communities colder. Simply record the temperature at several test sites in Canada and in New York over the course of a winter, and factor in the wind direction. If the downwind communities are colder, that should prove that the wind blowing over the ice pack is making New York colder.

It’s time to get rid of the ice boom and stop overpaying for heating bills.

Bob Catalano