Ice quake causes damage at Lac Ste. Anne

EDMONTON — Homeowners in Lac Ste. Anne have spent the last few days assessing damage to their properties after ice quakes struck the region.

Ridges started forming along the shoreline last week, and in some cases, it’s still getting worse.

“It’s lifted up the grass, part of the retaining wall,” said Barrie Ronaldson as he looked at the damage to his Val Quentin property.

He says he first discovered the damage a week ago.

“It’s gotten worse since we left last Sunday.”

He’s thankful his cottage is okay, but says his deck was damaged.

“It’s created a ridge right through, continuing through the boathouse.”

The garage door on his boathouse buckled and one of the walls lifted off the footing.

CTV News Edmonton showed photos of the damage to David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“These ridges and cracks appear and these are all very much a part of what we call these ice quakes,” he said.

He says these quakes are caused by extreme temperature changes, conditions seen in the area at the time.

“That would have caused the ice both in the ground and also in the lake to expand and create that kind of popping sound, loud noise, and could in extreme situations cause the ground to shift.”

In some cases the ground will shake, something residents on Lac Ste. Anne experienced on New Year’s Day in 2018.

Phillips says ice quakes happen more often than people realize.

“These things are occurring all the time in lakes.”

“But not as maybe spectacular.”

Ronaldson has lived here 61 years, and says this was his first ice quake experience.

“I think it’s just a phenomenon that has happened, and I don’t know that it’s going to become a common problem.”

He plans to wait until things thaw out in the spring to get a proper assessment of the damage.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Amanda Anderson. 

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