Watch out for falling ice

BY Justin Scuiletti  February 19, 2014 at 6:38 PM EST

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Video by ClickOrlando

“Those icicles have been known to kill people!”

One may be able to quote that line from 1983’s “A Christmas Story” by heart, but a healthy fear of icicles may not be the wrong state of mind if you’re a city dweller.

As temperatures warm and the winter’s accumulation of snow and ice begin to thaw, danger lurks in the form of ice falling from skyscrapers onto unsuspecting pedestrians below. Falling from great heights, ice and frozen snow can easily turn from picturesque winter scenery into deadly projectiles that pose serious threats to the safety of those below.

In New York, streets around the new One World Trade Center were closed off as ice began to fall from the 1,776-foot tall tower, traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph. In Chicago, the AP reported pedestrians outside the 100-story John Hancock Center in January scurrying past the building with items held above their heads to shield from falling ice.

“The snow starts to melt and the liquid drips off and makes bigger and bigger icicles, or chunks of ice that break off skyscrapers,” New York National Weather Service meteorologist Joey Picca told the AP. “Be very, very aware of your surroundings.”

Besides blocking off routes to pedestrians, cities like New York have attempted to prevent potential injuries with proactive methods. The Department of Buildings in New York City asked building owners to clear off snow buildups and to block off sidewalks were falling ice could be a problem. Failure to comply could garner owner penalties of around $1,000.