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"Hey, what do you want? It's winter, that's what happens ice," said Mike McKenna, a 38 year old management consultant who was under 1 World Trade Center when the chunks first started flying.
New York City's Department of Buildings has issued an alert asking building owners to clear dangerous buildups of snow and rope off sidewalks, and they have issued citations with a standard penalty of $1,000 for those failing to do so.
Since then, he's nervous when he walks around the city and has seen other near hits. "I look at my scars, and I say, Why did this have to happen to me?'"
Streets around New York's new 1 World Trade Center, the nation's Fila Sneakers Shoes Jabong tallest building, were recently closed when sheets of ice were seen shearing from the face of the 1,776 foot structure turning them into potentially deadly, 100 mph projectiles.
"They keep more heat inside, which means the outside is getting colder and that allows more snow and ice to form," said engineer Roman Stangl, founder of the consulting firm Northern Microclimate in Cambridge, Ontario.
Some architects say newer, energy efficient high rises may actually be making the problem worse.
"It was a mess, but I went through 9/11. Falling ice is nothing."Mike McKenna
Stangl helps developers opt for shapes, slope angles and even colors darker colors absorb more melting sunrays to diminish ice formation. High tech materials can be also be used, such as at Tokyo's Skytree observation tower, where heaters were embedded in the glass to melt the ice.
Outside Chicago's 100 story John Hancock Center last month, people scrambled with backpacks and purses over their heads to avoid falling ice. On Tuesday, signs warning pedestrians of falling ice stood outside nearly every skyscraper and other tall building in Chicago's Loop as temperatures pushed above freezing for the first time in weeks. Last week near Le Coq Sportif Eclat Gold Metallic Trainers
Exactly how many pedestrians are hit by falling ice is not clear, but dozens of serious injuries are reported annually. It's a perennial problem in St. Petersburg, Russia, where dozens reportedly are injured or killed every year. Seven people were injured in 2011 near Dallas when huge sheets of ice slid off the roof of Cowboys Stadium. Fifteen people were injured in 2010 by a shower of ice from the 37 story Sony Building on New York's Madison Avenue.
Such options are not always possible in older cities with balconies, awnings and stone details. Cuts across his nose and cheek required 80 stitches.
leading into March, potentially causing more ice to form."
(WATCH: Welcome to the Coldest City on Earth)
at the same under construction condo tower where a crane dangled during Superstorm Sandy, chunks of ice tumbled onto cars and buses.
"This happens all over the country, all over the world, in cold climates," said architect Chris Benedict, who accounts for ice buildup in designing new structures.
But even the simplest solutions can sometimes be problematic. After ice was seen falling from 1 World Trade Center earlier this month, officials closed a nearby street and the entrance to the underground PATH train station that links New York with New Jersey. That caused a logjam of thousands of commuters with nowhere to go. A new covered entrance to the PATH station now protects commuters walking by.
"I panicked because I saw blood on my hands, and more coming down," said the 27 year old salesman. As he lay on the pavement, "I heard two young ladies yelling, Oh, my God, oh my God, help! There's a lot of blood!'"
Snow Falling From Skycrapers
And sidewalks around high rises in cities big and small have been cordoned off with yellow caution tape because of falling icicles and rock hard chunks of frozen snow, a situation that experts warn could get worse over the next few days as a thaw sets in over much of the country. "This will likely not be the last time we see this threat since colder than average conditions are expected in the Midwest and Northeast during the final week of February Le Coq Sportif Eclat Trail W Outdoor
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Residents of northern cities with large buildings, beware: As these structures finally thaw out from a long, brutal winter, ice sheets are falling, and that could be deadly.
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