Intense wind gusts have caused ice to pile-up from Pigeon Lake onto the shores of Ma-Me-O Beach – a phenomenon known as an “ice shove.”

“This hasn’t happened for a number of years here,” said Ma-Me-O Beach summer village mayor Don Fleming.

“It’s not as destructive as ones we’ve seen the years past, but I think that has a lot to do with the low water levels,” he explained.

According to Fleming, “the force of nature” has crept right up to the edge of people’s homes causing some damage to seawalls and the shoreline – anything left on the beach is now trapped by ice.

Fleming said many of the people who own homes along the beach live elsewhere in the winter, so they won’t find any damage for a few months.

“In some respects it’s good for the summer to come, because it tends to level-off the shore. You end up with a nice flat beach that has been smoothed out by the ice,” he said.

Curious visitors made a trip to the area on Sunday to see this unconventional beach attraction.

“It almost reminds me of petrified wood, almost like crystals […] it’s really neat,” said Millet-area resident Mona Freeman.

“When we were little, we used to come and see it,” said Dale Brittain who lives near Pigeon Lake. “It’s only when the wind comes up when it happens, but it’s neat how [the ice] crackles.”

With much more ice left of the lake, the mayor said it’s possible ice shoves will continue if the winds get high, meaning more curious visitors and more potential damage.

Ma-Me-O Beach is located on the southeast shore of Pigeon Lake, about 100 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

With files from Nicole Weisberg