New York harbour freezes over creating beautiful scene for tourists

Huge chunks of ice join together for surreal scene

Updated: 
US-WEATHER-ICE


As the Big Apple endures its worst winter for almost 30 years, New York harbour in Lower Manhattan has frozen over - creating an incredible photo opportunity for tourists.

Large chunks of ice have created a stunning yet surreal scene on the Hudson River, pictured here from Staten Island.

According to the Mirror, the coastguard has been using a huge 140ft ice breakers to ensure ships can still get into the harbour.

The Daily Mail reports that ice sheets up to 18 inches thick over on the East River have caused severe problems for ferry services in the area.

This week, services between Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, across the East River were suspended for the first time on a weekday due to the weather conditions.

They are operating again now, but with delays.

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In the 1800s, New York Harbour would regularly freeze over, and people even walked across parts of it during winter months.

According to the NY Times, the New York Harbour froze completely in 1780 in the hard winter during the American Revolution.

But Robin Bell, a research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Observatory at Columbia University who specialises in the Hudson River, said that it does not get as cold in New York City as it once did.

"You used to be able to drive a car from Manhattan to New Jersey," she said, "so the river was probably colder then, but there was also probably less boat traffic."

The salinity of the modern-day water also lowers the freezing point.

The ice has been enough to affect the East River Ferry, the Hudson River Ferry and the Belford Ferry, all run by New York Waterway.

Pat Smith, a spokesman for New York Waterway, said it had tugboats out this winter to clear the way for boats.

He said the ice doesn't damage the boats' hulls, but it can make dents in their propellers.

If the propellers become dented, they have to be replaced by a diver. Mr Smith said: "Would you like to do that this time of year?"

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