Officials: Ice still too dangerous to walk on - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Officials: Ice still too dangerous to walk on

ROCHESTER (KTTC-DT)-- Even as the temperature dips below freezing, safety officials are warning people to stay off area ponds and lakes where the ice is dangerously thin to walk on.

"What appears to be safe right now, may in fact not be," says Jim Kiehne of the Rochester Fire Department.

According to Kiehne, firefighters usually only respond to less than a half-dozen ice rescues calls each winter but this time of year can be deadly for anyone trying to venture onto the ice.

"It looks like the ice is covered but you can step through it and break through the very edge," Kiehne notes.

Officials say the most dangerous part about falling through thin ice is the frigid temperature of the water, where hypothermia can set in after only five minutes.

"If you've got jumper cables in a car you can whip those out, get something out there (to the victim) because if it didn't hold them up it won't hold you either," Kiehne adds.

The DNR says ice needs to be at least four inches thick to walk on, five inches thick to snowmobile on and eight inches thick to drive on.

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