Arctic air on the way to strengthen ice, first responders still urging caution
Even with arctic air on the way, creating ideal ice-making conditions, authorities are still stressing patience before heading out on lakes.
During the first weekend of the new year, another person fell through the ice in northern Minnesota and died – this time on Cass Lake. There have now been at least three deaths connected to ice-breaking this season.
“It’s traumatic on our agency and the two deputies that responded first out there,” Cass County Sheriff Bryan Welk said about Friday’s death on Cass Lake.
“They came upon an ice heave [and] got out to check the ice conditions. [It] started cracking under their feet and when they got back into the side by side, it immediately went down,” Sheriff Welk said about the deadly incident.
There have also been many rescue operations to get stranded anglers. As of Jan. 8, there are vehicle restrictions on Upper Red Lake.
Unseasonable conditions are partly to blame, but better ice-making days are ahead.
“We’re talking full-on arctic air for temperatures near, and even below zero, 24/7,” 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS meteorologist Matt Serwe said, adding, “We’re going to keep making some very good ice, especially as we get into this weekend and early next week.”
Still, Sheriff Welk stresses people should be patient as that ice forms.
“Please just give it some time for the Mother Nature to work its magic and get some thicker ice for us to all enjoy the lakes,” he said.