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The bomb cyclone encrusted these Lake Erie homes in ice. The photos are surreal.

While the images are stunning, flooding is in the forecast and officials are warning tourists to stay away and off the ice.

A person takes photos of a scene of frozen houses in the waterfront community of Crystal Beach in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, Local officials are telling tourists not to clog the streets near the houses. (Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images)
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Its name might conjure thoughts of pristine sandy shores, but the Canadian community of Crystal Beach is getting attention this week for a less bucolic image — homes coated in a thick layer of ice crystals.

The extraordinary winter storm that walloped much of the United States and southeastern Canada over the holiday weekend left a striking imprint on homes in this community in Fort Erie on the very eastern edge of Lake Erie, as well as potentially hazardous conditions on the shoreline. As powerful winds swept the region, frigid lake water was sent cascading over homes, sheathing them in ice from their foundations to their rooftops.

If the outside air had been warmer or even average for this time of year, this might only be a story about flooding.

But the storm delivered punishingly cold temperatures, with overnight lows dropping into the single digits in southern Ontario. Fort Erie is across the border from Buffalo, where the winter storm left more than 30 people dead.

In news reports, residents described huge waves cresting over the Lake Erie breakwall and freezing to the sides of houses.

Buffalo’s no stranger to snow. Why was the storm so deadly?

Environment Canada, the country’s meteorological agency, issued warnings and special weather statements ahead of the storm to every province and territory across the nation, with the exception of Manitoba. It warned Canadians accustomed to extreme cold to take precautions, noting that Ontario, Quebec and towns along the Atlantic Coast were likely to be hardest hit.

By Christmas morning, Canadian Niagara Power reported widespread outages throughout Fort Erie and nearby Port Colborne affecting approximately 14,000 customers that Sunday morning. The storm also dumped huge amounts of snow on the region that felled trees, downed power lines and left cars and even snowplows stuck in snow banks.

As Fort Erie continued to dig itself out Thursday, Canadian forecasters said the region was likely to see a major temperature increase in the days ahead, with the high topping 50 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday and Friday.

The warmer weather is raising concerns about potential flooding. On Wednesday afternoon, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority issued a flood watch for parts of the Niagara Peninsula, which includes Fort Erie and the surrounding towns.

The authority urged residents to stay away from ice near the shores of Lake Erie, calling it “particularly unstable and dangerous.”

“Stay off the ice. Even though it is spectacular and beautiful, it is not worth losing your life for a photo,” warned the Fort Erie Fire Department on the town’s Facebook page.

Extreme cold can wreak all kinds of havoc on homes, from burst pipes to warped cladding and cracked sealant. In Crystal Beach, it may be days before homeowners learn the condition of their crystallized properties.

In the meantime, the houses coated in ice crystals have become more than a local spectacle.

Fort Erie Fire Chief Mark Schmitt told CityNews Toronto that the scene has attracted travelers who have come to the town to take pictures. Schmitt said spectators are putting not only themselves at risk, but also any city employees who might be called on to rescue them.

“I get it, there are beautiful formations, but it’s extremely dangerous,” Schmitt said. “There are enough [photos] on social media and the newscasts that you can see them just as well from there as you can from here.”