Niagara Falls transformed into almost-completely frozen winter wonderland due to US severe cold snap

Niagara Falls has turned into a stunning partially frozen paradise that is attracting tourists despite the sub-zero temperatures.

Photographs of the tourist hot spot on the border of Canada and New York state show the area blanketed with snow, creating a breath-taking winter wonderland, with a sheet of ice covering the falls.

While the iconic falls never fully freeze over, during particularly cold temperatures mist and spray begin to form a crust of ice over top of the rushing water, making it appear as though the falls have in fact stopped.

The water continues to flow underneath the sheets of ice, the Niagara Parks website states.

A number of admirers wrapped up in coats and hats to take photographs of the phenomenon.

Niagara Falls on the edge of New York state (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Niagara Falls on the edge of New York state (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The magical scene formed as a deadly weekend blizzard gripped Buffalo, in New York state roughly 25 miles south of the tourist attraction.

Confirmed storm-related deaths in New York’s Erie and Niagara counties rose to 32 on Tuesday, officials said, as snowfall began to taper off and make way for sludge and flood warnings.

Emergency crews continued removing cars left buried under mounds of snow and drifts several feet high.

Some of the dead were found frozen in cars, others in snowbanks outdoors, while some died in medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest while shoveling snow, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told reporters.

Nationwide at least 60 people died in weather-related incidents in recent days, NBC News reported.

In and around Buffalo, up to 52 inches of snow fell over four days according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

But temperatures are set to warm dramatically this week, followed by rain.

"This is one of the reasons certain streets are targeted for extra clearance to allow for proper drainage of melt water," Mr Poloncarz said on Twitter.

Progress was slow due to the sheer volume and depth of the snow, which Poloncarz said "is not plowable."

Mr Poloncarz tweeted that some 4,500 customers remained without electricity on Tuesday, as crews cleared downed trees with chain saws.

For residents essentially trapped in their homes for two days, the easing of the storm revealed how much snow fell during white-out conditions that had limited their view.

Buffalo residents clear heavy snow (Getty Images)
Buffalo residents clear heavy snow (Getty Images)

Meteorologist Bob Oravec of the NWS Weather Prediction Center in Maryland predicted two more inches of snow would fall in western New York on Tuesday, but said that was "probably the last”.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called it an "epic, once-in-a-lifetime" weather disaster, the worst blizzard to hit the Buffalo area in 45 years.

The county has called in 100 military police from the state National Guard as well as officers from New York City to help manage traffic and enforce road restrictions.

Buffalo residents with plows attached to their trucks helped clear side streets.

People walked a mile or more in lanes cut by snow plows to reach stores and supermarkets that were beginning to reopen.