New York menaced by 'ice daggers' falling from the sky
Blades of ice smash into streets around One World Trade Center at over 100mph
AFTER weathering one of the coldest winters on record, New Yorkers are now facing a new threat: sheets of frozen snow and "ice daggers" falling from skyscrapers.
Streets around One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the US, were closed on Wednesday morning after huge chunks of dagger-shaped ice were blown from ledges and windowsills crashing to the ground below.
When blown from the 1,776-foot structure, otherwise harmless pieces of ice become "potentially deadly, 100-mph projectiles," The Guardian reports.
Meteorologists warned that the situation could get much worse over the next week as a thaw sets in across the country.
"The snow starts to melt and the liquid drips off and makes bigger and bigger icicles, or chunks of ice that break off skyscrapers," said Joey Picca, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in New York.
"Be very, very aware of your surroundings," he warned. "If you see ice hanging from a building, find another route. Don't walk under hanging ice."
One New York resident, Barry Negron, required 80 stitches after being struck in the head by falling ice. "I panicked because I saw blood on my hands, and more coming down," Negron said.
The city has had 48.5 inches of snow since the start of the year, and several cycles of freeze and thaw, the Daily Telegraph reports.
New York City has already spent twice its allotted annual budget of $38m for snow removal this year according to CBS, and as snow begins to melt, areas prone to flooding face new risks.