Cold turns Niagara Falls into icy winter wonderland

A frozen Niagara Falls is seen in views from Stedman's Bluff on Goat Island of the American Falls and Prospect Point beyond. Almost every year frigid temperatures transform Niagara Falls State Park into an icy winter wonderland when the mist of the falls is blown back, freezing on the landscape. (The Niagara Gazette via AP)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Cold turns Niagara Falls into icy winter wonderland

NIAGARA FALLS, New York: Niagara Falls is one place the nation’s deep freeze is as much seen as it is felt.
Mist from the surging waters has been freezing instantly on everything it touches, coating trees, walkways, cliffs and overlooks in a dreamy, brilliant white. Visitors hardy enough to withstand the bone-chilling cold are treated to snapshots and selfies in a winter wonderland.
“It’s outstanding. As cold as it gets, it’s a year-round attraction,” Paul Tabaczynski said during a visit to see the spectacle on Tuesday. A Buffalo native, he lives in Dallas now but remembered to dress in layers — flannel over a T-shirt and a lined sweatshirt that passes for his winter jacket in Texas.
Although everything around them freezes, the three waterfalls that make up the natural attraction between the US and Canada continue to flow and churn up the frosty mist. The westerly wind usually blows it toward the US side, National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Welch said, where the moisture wraps every inch of the landscape in white.
“I can’t feel my feet!” 12-year-old Keila Cruz told her father, Jonathan, as she and a dozen other family members thawed out inside the Niagara Falls State Park visitor center during a trip from Deltona, Florida.
“We haven’t even gone out yet,” Jonathan Cruz said. The family had only come from the parking lot about 200 yards away, but with temperatures in the teens and wind gusting over 40 miles per hour, the group needed a warming break before venturing to the water’s edge.
“We’re trying to get our feet warm because we’re frozen,” Jonathan Cruz said.
With a deep freeze stretching from south Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England, the surreal scenes have played out across a wide swath of the US.
Fountains froze in Texarkana, Arkansas, New York City’s Bryant Park — and even Savannah, Georgia, where January’s average high is 60 degrees (16 Celsius). The thermometer read 30 (-1 Celsius) on Tuesday, cold enough for icicles to dangle from the ornate wrought-iron fountain in Forsyth Park.
Chunks of ice floated down the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan made “ice balls” with its rolling waves. As of Monday, ice cover on the Great Lakes was at 19.7 percent, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Forecasters warned of hazardous travel from the southeast to New England through Friday, with the worst expected from the Carolinas to Maine. The bitter cold will linger into the weekend.
Tim Partin of Williamsburg, Kentucky, was in Niagara Falls on business when he decided to take in the scenery.
“It really is pretty,” Partin said.


Prince Harry goes solo on royal tour as pregnant Meghan rests

Updated 22 October 2018
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Prince Harry goes solo on royal tour as pregnant Meghan rests

  • The pair have already traveled to Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo since touching down in Australia last Monday
  • They are set to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island

FRASER ISLAND, Australia: Prince Harry greeted an Aboriginal community on the stunning World Heritage-listed Fraser Island Monday as his pregnant wife Meghan took a break from official duties during the royal couple’s Australian tour.
The pair have already traveled to Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo since touching down in Australia last Monday, drawing thousands of screaming fans to their events.
The visit to Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland state took on a different tone, as the Duke of Sussex was greeted with a traditional Aboriginal ceremony from the local Butchulla people on the peaceful shores of Lake McKenzie.
Harry later walked barefoot on the soft white sands of the lake, a source of drinking water for the Butchulla people, and splashed water on his face.
Fraser is the world’s largest sand island and the prince was due to unveil a plaque to dedicate the holiday site’s acres of rainforests to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project.
His visit will also touch on other environmental issues, a cause close to his father Prince Charles’ heart, when he meets with park rangers to learn more about the island’s plants and animals.
Later, he will meet with two Hervey Bay paramedics, who are being recognized for granting a dying woman’s final wish by taking her to the beach.
A photo of a paramedic beside a stretcher facing the ocean was posted on Facebook last year and went viral around the world.
The royal couple had earlier arrived in Queensland by plane before traveling to the island separately.
Harry boarded a barge, a route used by tourists to travel to the island, while the Duchess of Sussex took a different vessel and then retreated to a private residence.
Her choice of dress, a maroon number with white polka dots, sparked excitement in Queensland, as the deep brownish-red happens to also been the official color of the state.
The pair are due to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island.