OSHKOSH, Wis. — An ice shove - otherwise known as a surge of ice from a lake onto the shore - made a striking appearance in Oshkosh this week.
First reported by radio station KFIZ, the ice shove crashed into a home - and the visuals from the scene are impressive. The ice not only pushed from the lake onto the building, but further made its way inside the building, damaging furniture and walls.
The ice shove happened at the end of Lake Rest Lane south of Oshkosh. Photos show what happened to the home of Mike and Rosemary Sammons - and that appears to be the worst of the shove that hit the area, according to KFIZ, whose staff took the photos. The ice pushed its way at least 10 feet onto shore, 10 feet high and 10 feet into the home, according to their report. Two other homes were impacted by the shove.
The National Weather Service recorded winds of up to almost 30 miles per hour around 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, and that could have caused the ice shove.
This time of year is known as ice shove season as ice masses on lakes begin to break up with warmer temperatures, according to Weather.com. Once the smaller ice masses start to move, there can be a lot of force behind the ice. Weather.com describes it as a "slow-motion version of a frozen tsunami." Once it reaches land, it can continue moving onto shore as long as winds remain strong (25 miles per hour or more).
Lake Winnebago is noted as an area where ice shoves are relatively common, as is Green Bay.
While ice shoves happen on the lake every spring, they haven’t created this bad of a problem in more than 40 years.
Many of the homeowners affected use these places as cottages and are not in town. Neighbors are trying to help them.
We caught up with neighbors trying to help.
“We just wanted to make sure there aren’t any gas lines that broke or anything,” said Terese Poeschl. “We also keep checking to make sure no one is around who we don’t know, trying to get into these homes that now have broken windows and walls.”
Poeschl cannot help but look at 10-foot mounds of ice in awe.
“It is destructive, but it's beautiful too,” Poeschl said. “It’s almost like you’re in another world being up against these pieces of ice.”
“It’s definitely pretty, unless it hits your house,” Dan Kierstead joked. “This happens on Lake Winnebago when there is a lot of ice that starts breaking up, and heavy winds. The east winds bring in the ice. There is nothing you can do. It comes fast. It is unfortunate when it does this kind of damage.”
Kierstead says sometimes bulldozers are brought in to help clear the huge ice chunks, but realistically, he believes these homeowners will just have to wait for all of it to melt.
“When it melts, the water is going to fill the homes,” he said. “Two years ago, the same thing happened, but it was not as bad as this.”