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Michigan DNR provides ice-safety tips ahead of holiday weekend

Posted at 4:04 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 16:04:22-05

MICHIGAN — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding Michiganders to be safe while engaging in winter activities this holiday weekend, especially when around ice.

“Even during consistent cold stretches, pressure cracks in the ice can develop within hours,” says Lt. Skip Hagy. “There is no such thing as ‘safe’ ice. Always check conditions for yourself; don’t rely on what you see others doing.”

The DNR says ice is often unstable at river mouths and where currents are found. Reservoirs are also noted as dangerous ice locations.

We’re told temperatures are predicted to approach 40 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the southern portion of the Lower Peninsula, rendering icy water as especially dangerous in those parts.

“Warm spells may weaken the ice and then cause it to refreeze at night, making it unstable,” says Lt. Tom Wanless.

If you do fall through ice, DNR officers say to stay calm and go back in the opposite direction from which you entered.

The DNR offers a handful of other safety tips, including to wear ice picks around your neck so they can be utilized at a moment's notice; check the ice using an axe, stick or auger before venturing onto the ice; and to wear a life jacket.

Inspect the ice for pressure cracks before snowmobiling, and ride on the right side of all trails at safe speeds, the DNR advises. Officials say snowmobilers should ride sober.

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