After the tragic deaths of two young boys in rural Adams County there are some important things to remember when it comes to dealing with ice.
The weather has been colder and many of the local waterways have started to form a layer of ice. However, just because there you can see a top layer of ice does not mean there is ice all the way through says Kim Elder who is the Marshall County Emergency Management Coordinator.
"It hasn't been cold enough," Elder says, "it's deceiving when you see a bit of ice which may hold someone for a little while until they get to a weak spot."
And she recommends if you don't know the area or water, stay away. This is the case especially if you are on a farm pond that you are not familiar with and she says then, "that you should definitely stay off of it."
And Elder says the type of ice that forms also depends on the body of water. And rivers and areas with running water make the potential for uneven ice even greater.
"It's unpredictable because of the streams and the and the way it runs. So, there may be areas that may be very thick and others that have no ice at all," Elder says.
She does say there is one great resource which will help gage the potential for safety.
"The DNR definitely has some great information on how thick the ice has to be," she says,"and that varies from pond to pond and from area to area, because of temperature."
Some of those tips from the DNR include:
- 4 inches of clear blue ice will hold one adult person
- 5-6 inches of clear blue ice will hold snowmobiles, ATV's, and groups of 3-4 people.
- Drill a hole in the ice to gage the thickness and quality of the ice before using for recreational activities.
- 8 inches of black/honey-combed ice will hold one adult person
- Avoid ice that appears "dark" as this could be "rotten ice" and can be "unstable"
- Avoid areas of ice with objects protruding through. The objects absorb heat and can weaken the ice around the area.
- Avoid big lakes, they can be the most unstable.
Elder does recommend waiting for colder temperatures to arrive before attempting to go on any icy body of water.
--By 1230 KFJB Reporter Katherine Fritcke