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Pushed By Strong Winds, Ice Mounds Damage Homes On Mille Lacs

ISLE, Minn. (WCCO) -- Lake Mille Lacs is starting to thaw, and with it comes massive piles of ice making their way onto the southeastern shore.

In a video shot by Steven Johnson, who owns Johnson's Portside in Isle, 30-foot mounds of ice resembling broken glass quickly make landfall into a person's home.

The wind had gusts of more than 40 miles per hour at the time, pushing the ice from land to living room in about an hour, Johnson estimates.

Tina Chapman, the executive director of the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council, says this is typical timing for ice out. Every spring, people hope for sun, some rain and light winds. If one of those things is off, she says, homeowners can't do much to prevent damage.

"If you've lived here, you just know it's always a potential to happen this time of year," Chapman said. "If it happens, you just hope the wind is blowing the opposite direction from your house."

This year, the ice is relatively soft, which makes it crumble easily. Chapman and Johnson agree that is a better alternative to the large, solid chunks of ice that sometimes wash ashore, as the latter can cause much more damage.

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