Huge ice shoves causing damage after this brutal, bitter cold winter

MENOMINEE, MICHIGAN (WITI) -- They sound horrible, and they do incredible damage. This year, ice shoves are turning up in droves after this harsh, bitter cold winter.

At the Elegant Ewe Stitchery Shop in Menominee, Michigan, owner Martha Tillson says the ice came calling on Sunday night, April 13th.

"I lost the fence, I lost the sod I just put in a few years ago. I have a cement breakwall down there. I'm not sure what happened to it," Tillson said.

Tillson says she's never seen so much ice. She says she has a theory.

"If you get a solid sheet of ice on a body of water, this doesn't happen. You have to have floating ice chunks and the ice breaker went through Thursday and Friday," Tillson said.

The U.S. Coast Guard confirms ice breakers were in the area last week, but they say strong north winds and record ice thickness were bigger factors.

The road to the lighthouse was closed on Tuesday morning, April 15th.

People had to navigate around towering ice formations blocking the way.

"I brought my granddaughter Izzy out here to see the ice shoves. They're awesome aren't they Izzy?" Debbie Doubek said.

"They're really cool. Winter makes everything really pretty," five-year-old Izzy Francisco said.

Steve Goddard and his dog Jesse made the trek all the way to the lighthouse.

"It was a good opportunity to take some pictures. I'm kind of into photography. You don't see much of this very often. If that wind blows some more, she's going to cover up a lot more yet," Goddard said.

It was an icy experience.

"It's very beautiful out here. I've never seen any ice shoves in 47 years we lived here," Joseph Martin said.

Meanwhile, Tillson says she will rebuild once the ice finally melts.

"It will probably be gone by Christmas, maybe," Tillson said.

Menominee's city manager says despite the larger-than-usual ice shoves, he has received no reports of serious damage.