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Huge ice shoves cause damage in Oshkosh area

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 12:30 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Large ice shoves from Lake Winnebago have pushed on to shore, causing damage to homes.

The shoves are thick--estimated to be 16-to-18 inches thick. Don Herman of Sunk? Dive and Ice Service says he hasn’t seen the shoves this large in his career.

“It is amazing. I’ve been doing this 47 years and I’ve only seen it, this thick, probably once. Twelve inches a couple of times, it pushes. Normally it just pushes and crumbles,” says Herman.

Ice shoves happen when the conditions are right for wind, currents and temperature changes. Lake Winnebago is famous for its shoves each spring.

Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, winds of 25-to-30 miles per hour pushed shoves onto the shore and into several homes. They caused extensive damage.

People familiar with Lake Winnebago say shoves this size are rare.

“I’ve never seen a sheet of ice, come directly up on shore, connected yet to the lake - just like a flowing piece. It almost kind of reminds me of glacier. So, when you see it, the thickness of it, it’s just amazing,” says Gregory Jansen of Oshkosh.

It could be awhile before the ice is gone.

“This here, they’re just going to have to wait until it melts. Get a couple of good rains, 70 degree weather, it melts quick once it gets off from here but it’s going to take awhile. I’m thinking this ice shove will be here for another month,” says Herman.

Many of these properties are summer vacation homes, so luckily people were not inside the buildings at the time.

”The lake is a monster. It’s beautiful to live on, but it’s very very dangerous. When you see ice like this and moving, you can’t imagine the mass and the force of that,” says Jansen.

Action 2 News viewer Lexi Gordon sent us photos of ice shoves damage at her family cottage.

Ice shoves damage a family cabin.
Ice shoves damage a family cabin.(Lexi Gordon)

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