With the ups and downs of Rockford area temperatures lately, we're seeing a lot of melting going on. With the melting, we're also seeing a lot of what the Weather Channel calls "ice daggers of doom." 

Or, what most of us just call (and sometimes have trouble spelling) icicles.

The daggers of doom, er, icicles in the photo above are on a house near mine that's currently under renovation. As of three days ago, those icicles had reached nearly all the way to the ground. And the back of the house is just as loaded up with them.

Sure, they look cool, but the danger is very real according to those in the know.

Icicles may look beautiful hanging off buildings and other structures during the winter, but they bring a danger as they grow larger and fall. There are no icicle injury statistics in the United States. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that it investigated 16 fatalities or serious injuries connected with snow and ice removal from roofs in the last 10 years.

Plus, the bigger they get, and the farther they fall, the higher the danger:

Over a long falling distance (at least 30 stories), they will accelerate until reaching terminal velocity, which has been calculated by physics professor Andreas Schroeder at the University of Illinois-Chicago to be 80 to 90 mph," he said. "A half-pound icicle, 3 inches in diameter, falling at this terminal velocity exerts a 1,000-pound force on whatever it hits. People have been seriously injured or killed by such projectiles. Massive icicles fell from buildings in Boston last Sunday, shattering windshields of cars, amid a winter thaw, according to CBS Boston. The incident resulted in street closures.


Just ask this guy about falling ice:

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