Sheriff warns of thin ice after vehicles fall into Lake Minnetonka
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is warning Minnesotans about thinning ice after several vehicles recently fell into Lake Minnetonka.
Because of multiple incidents in the past few days, the sheriff’s office urged people on Wednesday to remove their ice houses from lake ice as soon as possible.
While frozen-over lakes are never completely safe, officials say recent above-average temperatures and rain have made it more important to use caution when on or around ice.
“Lake ice around the county is in incredibly poor conditions and will present challenges to those who leave ice houses in place,” said Hennepin County Major Shane Magnuson. “With the cycle of melting and refreezing, ice houses are at risk of becoming stuck in the ice, and vehicles remain at high risk of going through the ice. We cannot recommend highly enough that anglers begin to remove their ice houses now rather than wait for the mandatory removal date.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says all ice houses have to be off lakes by 11:59 p.m. on March 6 for central and southern Minnesota. However, the sheriff’s office reiterated its recommendation to do so as soon as possible. More ice safety guidelines are available online.
Earlier Wednesday, no-travel advisories were briefly in place in several southcentral Minnesota counties due to snowy and icy conditions. However, those have since been lifted.
The Minnesota National Guard was deployed Tuesday night to help stranded travelers on Interstate 94 between Moorhead and Fergus Falls during blizzard conditions.
February’s wild weather ride is forecast to continue with highs lingering under 20 degrees Thursday before rebounding to near 40 over the weekend, then dropping back below freezing early next week, which is also when Minnesotans could get more snow.
Click here to see the latest weather forecast.