Temperatures reached 45 degrees in the northwest suburbs Monday, way above normal for this time of year. The mild weather meant thin ice warnings on lakes and little ice on local skating rinks.
"Don't assume just because the ice was good last week that it is good this week," said West Metro Fire Chief Sara Larson. "The shorelines are not safe."
Thanks to a February heat wave, law enforcement agencies want people to make sure ice is thick enough when they go on a frozen lake. A truck typically needs 12 to 15 inches of ice to drive on, a car eight to 12 inches, and a snowmobile five inches.
This weekend two vehicles sank through the ice, including a truck on Gray's Bay in Lake Minnetonka. Because of currents, wind and fish population, each lake is different when it comes to ice depth.
"It varies from lake to lake," Larson said. "There is never a set amount of ice, even on a lake."
If you or your car goes through the ice don't panic. That is also a huge key for first responders too, who put themselves at risk in a rescue situation.
Said Larson, "It's just as dangerous for us to go out on the ice in order to save you as it is for anybody to be out on the ice."
The spring–like weather is also affecting winter activities such as skating or hockey. On Monday Golden Valley announced that the city is closing all outdoor ice rinks.
Eric Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org