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Minnesota's unusual weather may impact your summer vacation plans

Unusual winter causing problems along Minnesota shorelines
Unusual winter causing problems along Minnesota shorelines 01:35

CROW WING COUNTY, Minn. — Our weird winter and spring could mess with your plans this summer if you plan to spend it by a lake.

Some Minnesota shorelines have been ripped up by ridges of ice.

We've seen ice shoves slam lakeshores in the past, but a lack of snow combined with warm weather is causing intense ice ridges.

The repeated cycle of freezing and thawing causes the ice to powerfully expand outward toward the shore.

"When the ice moves, it'll push up and bring a big mound of dirt on the shorelines," said Chris Pence, the environmental services manager for Crow Wing County. "This [ice] jacking causes a problem for boathouses and sheds near the water. You're almost lifting them off of their foundations, so it's very substantial and it does cause a lot of damage to people's property."

Crow Wing County

Pence says the ridges do serve a purpose for Mother Nature though. They act as a buffer, stopping unfiltered stormwater runoff from getting into the lake. If left alone, the ridges last decades.

For many families, Pence understands that's not a great option.

"The problem is's not really all that sightly, so we want to make sure we clean it up to make our shore usable," he said. "I don't have a number, but there'll be a large number of properties that will have this. Especially when they come up to the cabin in the spring for the first time, they're going to be shocked."

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