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DNR warns of pressure ridges forming on state lakes

Morning headlines from Feb. 23, 2024
Morning headlines from Feb. 23, 2024 03:05

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has issued a reminder to be cautious on lakes, as pressure ridges have been materializing on lakes across the state.

Pressure ridges — when ice fragments pile up in long lines — can rise 5 to 10 feet from the lake surface, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's caused by temperature changes and strong winds, and can even impact areas where ice is very thick.

Cracks are also popping up on lakes, the DNR says.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

To stay safe, the DNR advises Minnesotans to speak with local experts before going out onto lakes. If driving at night, it's advised to be extremely cautious and use headlights.

The DNR says to never cross a pressure ridge, and to wear buoyant gear and carry ice picks.

Good Question: Who pays for ice rescues and how much do they cost?

Warm temperatures have led to dangerous situations on lakes this winter, including an ice rescue on Upper Red Lake of more than 100 anglers. Beloved winter activities such as the Lake Harriet Ice Shanties and ice skating were canceled.

Officials say ice is warming quickly from above and below. Vegetation is starting to rot in ponds and ditches, causing surface ice to melt from below. 

MORE: With thin ice danger present on all Minnesota bodies of water, here's how to keep your children safe

Thin ice also presents dangers especially for young children. In the last 25 years, at least eight kids have fallen through the ice and died. 

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