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The area surrounding Niagara Falls, N.Y., is coated in a layer of ice in Niagara Falls State Park on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Niagara Falls hasn't frozen over, but it has become an icy spectacle, thanks to a blast of arctic wind and cold that blew around and froze the mist on surfaces and landscaping. Despite the urban legends, Niagara Falls doesn't freeze solid in the winter, tourism officials say. A section of the American Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up the natural attraction, has frozen.

Sharon Cantillon, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

The frozen mist from Niagara Falls coats the landscape around Prospect Point at Niagara Falls State Park, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The Polar Vortex brought high winds and frigid temperatures to the area. (AP Photo/The Niagara Gazette, James Neiss) BUFFALO NEWS OUT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT

James Neiss, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

Niagara Falls sparkles, doesn't freeze, after bitter cold

  • Associated Press
  • January 10, 2014 - 2:04 PM

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Niagara Falls hasn't frozen over, but it has become an icy spectacle, thanks to a blast of arctic wind and cold that blew around and froze the mist on surfaces and landscaping.

Despite the urban legends, Niagara Falls doesn't freeze solid in the winter, tourism officials say.

Nevertheless, "it's stunning," Virginia Kuebler of East Aurora told The Buffalo News while taking in the site Thursday.

A section of the American Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up the natural attraction, has frozen, the newspaper reported. The Niagara River rapids and larger Horseshoe Falls continue to flow unimpeded.

And it's all surrounded by a white blanket of snow and ice, which coats viewing railings and lampposts, trees, shrubs and boulders.

It is a scene that has been absent during the last several winters, which have been relatively mild.

The cold even brought the return of the "ice bridge," an occasional formation of ice that stretches across the Niagara River below the falls, linking the United States and Canada. Until 1912, tourists were allowed to walk on the bridge to look at the falls from below. That ended when the bridge broke apart and three tourists died.

© 2014 Star Tribune