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Winter Storm Stained Niagara Falls

The Great Lakes churned with waves up to nine meters high over the Christmas weekend, and particularly violent conditions on Lake Erie made for a strange sight, turning the cascading turquoise water over Niagara Falls a murky shade of brown.

Ontario's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change tweeted on Christmas Eve that "the ongoing storm has turned the waters of the falls chocolate brown," attributing the churning brown waters to "debris washed down the Niagara River."

The brief statement is accompanied by an aerial view captured from the live webcam atop the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel, showing a torrent of murky brown water rushing over the falls and into the Lower Niagara River.

It was not a short-lived phenomenon, as the brown water persisted for days after the worst of the storm, attracting confused onlookers.

Even on Dec. 28, the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel's webcam shows that the normal turquoise hue of the falls - its intensified blue hue from the rock flour suspended in the water - has not yet returned.

Tourists visiting the natural wonder today will still see a murky shadow spilling over the Niagara Escarpment, but that's not the only remnant of the big storm still visible several days later.

A series of photos show up close the effects of the storm on the American side of the falls, where infrastructure, including overlooks, have been covered in ice.

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