Relentless Winter Freezes More Than 60% of Lake Michigan and Causes Propane Shortages

Coast Guard is working to keep waterways clear of ice as cold blast drains supplies of heating oil.
3:00 | 01/21/14

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Transcript for Relentless Winter Freezes More Than 60% of Lake Michigan and Causes Propane Shortages
With all of the cold we want to show you tonight something happening we've not seen before. The great Lakes freezing up at a fast clip. ABC's Alex Perez in a kind of 21st century ice age, showing us. Reporter: It looks like the north pole than the midwest. This endless pool of ice is lake Michigan, captured on a camera, flying on a drone, high above. It's just massive. Reporter: Last year, only 38% of the great Lakes were frozen over. This year, researchers predict the ice coverage to be almost double that for January and February. Coast guard petty officer brad Houston says the extra ice has kept them busy, responding to calls all season. A lot of people will see this its and think, I can stand on this. But your hand goes right through. Yep. Exactly. They fall straight through. Reporter: Another unexpected side-effect of the arctic air, propane problems. The cold blast draining supplies and creating a propane shortage for the almost 6 million households that rely on propane for home heating. And prices are up 20% in some places. But the polar chill has been good for some. Look at that. 14 inches of ice. Reporter: In lake placid, New York, it's what they need for a major hockey tournament this weekend. We had no choice to flood the Rinks because the ice gets so cold, that it cracks. Reporter: And on lake superior, for the first time in five years, visitors are walking on the lake for a glimpse at the stunning sea caves on the apostle islands, covered in millions of icicles. A frozen masterpiece, in the middle of a relentless winter. Alex Perez, ABC news, east

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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