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False alarm a reminder of real ice dangers

Some small lakes, such as this one, have a thin layer of ice beginning to form. Typically, ice isn’t safe to walk on until there is three to five inches. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press)

Multiple emergency entities were called out to Evansville the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 6, after a report that an 11-year-old had fallen through the ice of a slough on the family’s property while chasing after his dog.

Though the boy did fall through the ice, scanner traffic indicated that he was able to get out safely and went to a barn to warm up. When he was located, the emergency response was called off.

While the boy is safe, the situation serves as a reminder to be aware of ice conditions this time of year. This week marks Winter Hazard Awareness Week, and among one of the biggest winter hazards in Minnesota is unsafe ice conditions.

Ice in Minnesota is always unpredictable, especially in this area because we have a lot of moving water with the lakes being connected,” said Troy Wolbersen, the Douglas County Sheriff. “The areas around the channels are weak year round. But ponds, sloughs, you name it – most ice at this time of year is not safe. Until there is 3 to 5 inches of ice, we really would like people not to even walk on it.”

If people do have a reason to venture out on the ice, such as to rescue a pet, Wolbersen says taking a boat is the best option this time of year.

The ice is not safe anywhere, whether it’s close to shore or not,” he said. “If there’s a reason you have to go out there, go out with a boat and with other people present and take appropriate safety measures.”

But ice conditions aren’t the only concern during Minnesota winters. Each day of Winter Hazard Awareness Week is dedicated to a different topic, as follows:

For more information, visit https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/weather-awareness-preparedness/Pages/winter-hazarad-awareness-week.aspx.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

(320) 763-1233
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